Post-Collision Apps Help Drivers In A Bind

What if your mobile phone could detect a crash, summon an ambulance and automatically notify your emergency contacts?

There’s an app for that.

“Usually when in an accident people can’t think clearly enough,” said Anibal Madrid, founder of the SOSmart app. “A good app will either guide them through the steps to take, or get them in touch with someone else who could act for them.”

A mobile phone could be your most important tool after a collision. But not all emergency apps are created equal. The best ones have simple interfaces and are routinely updated, Madrid said.

They should also use GPS to assess where you are and the best emergency agency to contact, he added.

“Apps should allow you to get your approximate address,” he said. “When asking for help seconds matters and you can’t afford to lose time by figuring out where you are.”

Perhaps most importantly, an app should also be able to distinguish the difference between a major collision and acts that can cause false alarms, like the phone being dropped, slamming the brakes or being involved in a fender bender.

Madrid also advised to find an app that doesn’t show ads.

“Do you really want to wait through a promo video when you need help?”

Madrid had the following suggestions for selecting a post-collision app:

  • Panic button: Consider an app that can notify pre-selected authorities and contacts with the push of a button.
  • Location, location, location: Apps capable of determining where you are provide substantial benefit, especially if you’re unconscious or the phone is out of reach.
  • No solicitors: Avoid apps that may distract with advertisements when you need to focus on getting help.
  • Keep it simple: The app should automatically update and stay on when the phone is. Installing the app should give you and your loved ones peace of mind.