There are more than 500 million-odd car wrecks in America every year, and yet many of us don't know what basic steps to take or general information to share at the scene.
A survey, published in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, shows that many Americans don't know what steps to take or what basic information to share — or not to share — after an accident. But in today's mobile-enabled society, that's absurd!
Take PicturesMore than half of us have smartphones now; I'll tell you what you should do immediately after a car accident — take pictures. Take pics of the damages to your car, its position, the other car's damage, road conditions, traffic flow and more. Or better yet, if you're uninjured, shoot an audio or video clip describing exactly what happened from your perspective. You'll need this for a proper record of the circumstances of the crash.
When it comes time to file a claim or accident report, it's better to be armed with more info than less. Rule of thumb: document more to make a difference in a car insurance judgment.
Smartphone Apps | The Best Car AppsIn 2012, most major car insurance companies increased their smartphone app development, putting more control in the hands of individual drivers who have been in auto accidents. Drivers can document info about a crash, note drivers and passengers who are involved, take pics of any damage and even start an online process for insurance claims — in some instances.
Car related smartphone apps offer basic templates for filing claims in an auto accident, while others offer more sophisticated apps that can check a vehicle identification number or find various insurance costs. For instance, The Hartford helps customers with its own mobile insurance app for iPhone and Android devices to ensure customers use an auto accident checklist, help to submit a claim, find auto repair facilities and more.
Other third-party apps exist that seek to help drivers in other ways. One of these apps help to estimate blood-alcohol content by entering factors like weight, food eaten and the number of drinks you've had to give you an indication of your condition to drive. Another app lets you pinpoint emergency facilities nearby in case of a serious road accident with injuries.
The Los Angeles Times spotlighted five car-related apps that can help in all types of driving circumstances:
As our society becomes more and more mobile, having a car app at arms length can be a great bonus in case of missed directions, auto accidents or saving gas. Just make sure to use the apps when your hands are off the steering wheel.
- Gas Buddy: Looking for cheap gas where you're driving? The Gas Buddy app will help you locate stations nearby with the lowest prices for fuel. When you're low in the tank, Gas Buddy will help you fill up cheap and easy!
- Park Me: Another app designed to help drivers find lower cost services, for example, low-cost parking garages in big cities.
- Sigalert: Traffic geeks will appreciate Sigalert (iOS only). Need to know your ideal morning commute? Sigalert shows major traffic flows in most major US cities, along with live traffic cameras.
- RepairPal: This app helps find tow-truck services or nearby repair shops, and gives you an estimate of your car trouble based on your GPS location.
- Trapster: Using what others report while on the road, Trapster warns drivers of dangers like speed cameras, hidden traffic cops and more.