Last year, 35,000 people died in crashes on U.S. roadways. That number jumped 7.2 percent from 2014—the largest increase in auto-related deaths in nearly 50 years. The numbers are staggering, but you can take steps to reduce the likelihood of a collision and increase the odds that you’ll get fast, accurate medical care after a crash. In fact, it could be as simple as downloading an app.
Here are a few apps to make you safer on the road:
You know you shouldn’t text and drive, but that doesn’t always stop you from checking your text messages when you’re behind the wheel. LifeSaver automatically locks your phone when your car is in motion, so you don’t have to rely on willpower to stay safe. And parents can program the app into teens’ phones with a passcode to make sure they don’t disable it.
What do you do with a broken bone? An asthma attack? Heat stroke? First Aid by American Red Cross provides step-by-step instructions for these and many more conditions. In an emergency, it will walk you through the proper treatment while you wait for medical providers to arrive on the scene.
Medical ID stores a copy of your pertinent medical details, and it’s accessible from your phone’s lock screen. In an emergency, first responders can check your allergies, medications, and health conditions—even if your phone is locked and you’re unable to communicate.
Designed by two ER doctors, iTriage helps you get medical care faster. Locate nearby doctors, find ER wait times, and even check in from your phone on your way to the hospital. You can also research symptoms and call advice hotlines from the app.
If you’re in a crash and can’t call for help, Collision Call will do it for you. When it detects a severe collision, the app alerts emergency responders and sends emails to your preprogrammed contacts. But don’t worry—you won’t accidentally trigger the alarm by dropping your phone. Collision Call only sends out alerts if your phone exceeds certain G-force levels.
Turn responsible driving into a game. With SafeDrive, you’ll earn points for staying off your phone while driving. Redeem them for discounts at stores and compete with your Facebook friends to see who’s the safest driver.
Human choices play a big role in causing car crashes—and in preventing them. Downloading these apps is a simple step toward safety. You can also protect yourself by observing the rules of the road, always wearing your seatbelt, and being aware of your surroundings. And make sure you’re prepared before a car wreck by reading our step-by-step guide for responding to car accidents.