Car safety? There’s an app for that.

Car accident attorney in La Jolla discusses new car safety app.
Car accident attorney in La Jolla discusses new car safety app.

Car accident attorney in La Jolla discusses new car safety app.

By Michael Pines, Accident & Injury Prevention Expert

Now more than ever, consumers depend on their iPhones to stay connected to the world. But smartphones and their app counterparts are much more than games or calendars – nowadays, they can even save lives thanks to a new car safety app that aims to improve driver awareness.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched its iOS SaferCar app earlier this month to inform consumers of important vehicle safety information, ratings and complains all in real-time using the latest and most readily available technology. The safety app even provides locations to child seat safety installation locations.

"Timely, accurate, and accessible safety data is the lifeblood of our agency's work," said NHTSA chief David Strickland. "The new SaferCar app literally puts the latest in vehicle safety information directly in the hands of consumers so they can make the appropriate purchasing and other decisions for themselves and their families."

Federal regulators released the app in part to help prevent needless car accidents while saving lives by educating consumers on the latest vehicle safety information.

iPhone users can download the app on iTunes. As for an Android version of the SaferCar app, no word is available on its release but developers are working to build alternative versions for other smartphone users.

The car safety app follows on the heels of a website update of SaferCar.gov earlier this year. Federal administrators changed up its interface for an improved user experience, allowing visitors to quickly access safety defect investigations, car recalls and any complains on their car model.

iPHONE APPS & COMMON SENSE: A MUST-HAVE FOR SAFE DRIVING

A government-released car safety app is a huge step in working to improve our roadways. But as most of us know, it isn’t the end all to resolving the problems that contribute to car accidents. When it comes to reducing your own personal risk related to car accidents, here’s what you can do to stay safe.

Never use your cell while driving.

It goes without saying that cell phone use is dangerous and unwarranted. Don’t use your phone much less the car safety app while driving.

Reduce all distractions.

Technology can be one of the worst culprits when it comes to the cause of car accidents. Reduce your distractions including radio, GPS devices, and in-vehicle entertainment systems.

Follow posted signs.

Wrong way driving, failure to stop at signs or lights, red light running and speeding are just some of the ways car accidents are caused. Always obey posted traffic signals and signs. If adverse conditions such as rain or traffic present themselves, use common sense to adjust your speed and driving habits accordingly. There isn’t any app that can help you obey traffic signs. Only you can make the right decisions behind the wheel.

Use 3-second rule.

Rear-end car accidents are often caused by following the vehicle ahead too closely. Adjust your speed and maintain a 3-second distance between you and the vehicle ahead. To test for the 3-second rule, locate a stationary object ahead of you and the vehicle you are following. As the car ahead passes the stationary object, your vehicle must not pass the same stationary object unless three or more seconds have passed.

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