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Need an app to remind you when it’s time for a car maintenance service? How about one for repair advice? If you want your phone to be part of your car care arsenal, there are numerous apps for your phone that can be utilized. In checking out different apps that aid with car repair, I found quite a few that augment safety, as well as those that help you keep track of car maintenance and service calls. Interestingly, the apps that give severe weather alerts and those that help our teenage motorists be safe drivers were the ones that caught my attention the most.

Before we get to those, however, lets talk about car repair and maintenance phone apps. First, there are several phone apps to organize and simplify car maintenance. These apps help diagnose mechanical problems and give repair advice. Also, there are applications for scheduling and keeping track of car maintenance service, including expense and mileage logs. I found apps with car recall data and alerts, car insurance and auto loan calculators. I even found an app that connects a car’s computer to the Internet via your phone, allowing you to examine the diagnostics on your phone. With so many to chose from, I suggest perusing the available applications, and trying out the ones that would most assist with car repair and car maintenance service needs.

A real driving concern in Colorado, is weather. Particularly in the Winter and Spring, when storms, floods, hail, and blizzards can close roads and cause major driving problems. A  very useful weather app  is one from the American Red Cross (Yes, they are in the app business now.)  In Colorado, we do get hit with natural disasters, and occasionally disasters not caused by nature. Just last Fall, we experienced a terrible flash flood in the Big Thompson Canyon. I had families members unaccounted for during that event, and if they would of had this application, it could of prevented some of the grief associated with that event. They, like others, were stranded and out of communication for a very large period of time. My family was camping in their 5th wheel, and the flood forced them to scramble to safety, then walk for miles to get out of the canyon after the water subsided. Once an emergency hits, it’s too late to do anything but survive it, and this app specifically is for natural disasters. It’s not an app one might ever have to use, but I think it’s an excellent tool for those once or twice in a lifetime events when these types of disasters occur.

The American Red Cross Mobile App Has Many Tools:

  • Help distant friends and family in areas prone to flooding with the ability to receive flood and flash flood watches and warning alerts based on their location from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • Red Cross location-based open shelters map for when you need it most.
  • Preloaded content means you have instant access to all safety information at anytime, even without reception or an Internet connection.
  • Simply let friends/family know you’re safe with customizable “I’m Safe” notification sharable thru social media, text and email.
  • Let others know where you are with the Toolkit’s strobe light, flashlight and audible alert functions.

Another safety issue that affects all of us, is phone usage while driving. Texting, web surfing, and talking on the phone are very bad habits that distract drivers and lead to a lot of fender-benders and accidents. In Colorado, If you are under 18 years old or driving with a learner’s permit, it is illegal for you to use a cell phone while driving. And, it is illegal for drivers of all ages to text while behind the wheel in Colorado.

During certain emergencies, Colorado law allows the use of cell phones while operating a vehicle. You may use a wireless telephone on the road in the following situations:

  • You have reason to fear for your life or safety.
  • You witness a criminal act or believe one may occur.
  • To report a fire, traffic accident, road hazards, and medical or hazardous materials.
  • Cell-phone use is also permitted in designated parking areas or the shoulder lane.

If it is not possible to simple quit using your phone or PC device while driving, there are apps to improve safety for using the phone while driving.

Many of these apps are targeted towards our youngest drivers. As parents, we know how tethered to the phone our teenagers can be, and to insure responsible phone use for our young people, an app might just be the ticket. There are many safety related apps available that monitor driving practices of newly licensed teens. They can alert parents via text or e-mail when kids exceed a specific speed and shows where infractions occurred. Also, several apps are on the market from iTunes and Google Play stores that address texting. Several are specifically geared towards teens. They limits or disable access to e-mail, texting, browsing, and calling when a teen is on the road. Of course, these apps are applicable for any driver, if you want to focus on the road and not Facebook and Aunt Ava texting you for suggestions on what to go pick up at the store on your way to her party. Many devices will read your messages and are quite useful for driving, if you really need to stay connected. Not looking at your phone or taking your hands off the wheel while driving can make up all the difference in safety. Of course, bluetooth devices are good for this.

Next time you are going through your phone looking at new apps, go to those that address driving safety, and see which one might work best for you and the drivers in your family. Just don’t peruse the aps while you are driving!

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