If you go back to 2018, it was reported that unsafe driving behavior caused 70% of the fatalities in vehicle crashes. Distracted driving is undoubtedly responsible for many of those accidents, such as when you try to use your phone for texting or talking to someone while you’re behind the wheel.
However, there are phone apps that will help you out in numerous ways while you drive, and there are methods for using them safely. Let’s talk about five of those right now.
The Google Maps application is a native app, meaning that if you get one of the newer versions of the iPhone, it will come preinstalled. There are lots of uses for this intuitive application.
You can type an address into it, at which point it will tell you how far away you are from that location. You then have the option of the app giving you directions out loud. You can turn the volume all the way up on your phone, or if you connect the device to your vehicle’s audio system, then the directions will come out of your speakers.
To use the app without having to hold the phone, you can get one of the many hands-free phone holders that can be affixed to your dashboard. There are several different ones available on Amazon, or at certain brick-and-mortar stores.
The GasBuddy application allows you to find the nearest gas station, which can come in handy if you’re in unfamiliar territory. This app is especially useful if you’re on a long road trip, and your tank is running low.
The app gets regular updates, and the database of filling stations across the country is enormous. You can also tell where gas is the cheapest, so if you’re in an area where there are lots of options, it will steer you to the one that has the lowest price, potentially saving you a few dollars. You can turn right around and use that extra money for some car snacks!
The RepairPal app is a stroke of ingenuity. Some people know a great deal about cars, so if they have a breakdown somewhere, they’ll probably know what the problem is and approximately how much the repairs are going to cost. However, there are plenty of other drivers who don’t know much about the mechanical side of the auto industry.
RepairPal can give you the average quote for how much any issue with your vehicle is going to cost. That way, if the mechanic you called quotes you a number that seems way off for the work that needs to be done, you will know to take your business elsewhere. The app can also direct you to the mechanic in your area that has the best customer reviews.
If you’ve made the leap to an electronic car or hybrid, then the PlugShare app is for you. It has the following features:
- It lets you know where the nearest charging station is across the US
- It tells you whether the charging station to which you’re heading is out of available spaces
- It lets you map out routes that will take you closest to convenient charging ports
Getting yourself an electric car is a great way to be environmentally-conscious, and this app can help you plan cross-country trips so that you avoid long stretches of highway or local roads where there are no charging stations for miles. The interactive map features more than 40,000 stations up to this point, with more always being added.
If you have an Android, and you’re not too pleased by your dashboard interface, then the DashDroid app is going to be your new best friend. It features:
- Ways to do hands-free calling and texting
- The ability to quickly check the weather forecast
- Ways to play music hands-free
This app is all about convenience. It is highly intuitive, with a central display and several buttons that you can custom-program according to the apps you use most.
There are always new apps for vehicles and travel coming out for both Android and iOS. You’ll probably want to have several of them if you drive a lot for work or just because you enjoy it.
The most critical thing to remember is to get one of those dashboard phone holders so that you don’t have to use your hands. Remember the dangers of distracted driving, and only use these handy apps in the safest way possible.