Must-have Apps for Safe Long Distance Driving

Whether you’re driving long distance to make a career move, visit family/friends, or just sightsee multiple states, you may be wondering what kind of helpful applications for your phone are out there.

045There’s just tons, and many fall under the category of convenience, such as apps that locate the cheapest gas stations, the nearest and cheapest lodging or your favorite restaurants. But this article is about safety and security.

The issue isn’t so much what particular app to install, but the type of app, what it does. For example, there are a number of weather applications out there. Which one is best? That depends on your needs and wants. But the important thing is that you know that the category of weather should be one of your app considerations for equipping your phone.

However, I will be mentioning some applications in particular, just to give you an idea of what’s out there. For instance, there’s the iMapWeather Radio application. This works even when your phone is asleep. It will arouse your phone to alert you if you’re nearing dangerous weather. This app automatically updates to wherever you currently are located.

Additional Apps for Road Travel

  • iTriage helps you figure out medications and medical conditions. It tells you where the nearest medical treatment centers are. You can also ask medical questions and get fast answers. So if, for instance, you notice that one of your legs has begun to swell and ache after you’ve been on the road all day, you can plug in this information and see what the likely cause is. As mentioned, there are numerous apps out there that fall into specific categories; review several before making your decision.
  • Another medical app worth mentioning is smart-ICE4family. Its features include: EMS-alert and location finder if the user becomes unconscious; in addition offers a piercing siren to help locate user; and a one-button-hit provides pre-existing medical information to first responders. If you think you might accidentally drive your car into a remote lake or ditch, this app is for you.
  • wikiHow explains how to resolve countless emergency situations. Chances are, whatever fix you’re in, this app covers it. It has over 140,000 how-to articles that explain resolutions for choking, animal attacks and surviving in the wilderness.
  • is coming soon, designed to eliminate texting-caused accidents. It will read your text messages out loud. It will also read to you your e-mails. You also won’t need to touch your phone to respond.
  • Flashlight converts your phone to a flashlight. Need I say more?
  • Another category is “accidents.” If you don’t want to be overwhelmed by apps that seemingly have everything under the sun, such as the wikiHow, you can opt for applications that focus only on vehicular crashes, such as iWrecked.
  • For repairs, there’s RepairPal. You may also want to look into Collision Call.
  • Red Panic Button; the name speaks for itself. Another good app is iMPrepared.

Other categories that are must-haves for your long road trip are that of GPS and maps.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.

Digital Lifestyle: 4 Essential Mobile Travel Apps

You don’t reach Platinum Medallion status on Delta by sitting on your back porch. I got there by schlepping all over the country, from one airport and hotel to the next. And technology definitely plays a major role in making my trips more manageable.

I swear by the following apps:

Tripit is a free app that keeps your itineraries easily available on your smartphone and gives you instant access to any information you might need on the road, even when you can’t connect to the Internet. (Flight times, confirmation numbers, and even maps.) Email your receipts from airlines, hotels, and rental cars to your TripIt account, and this highly intuitive app organizes the information by date and time.

FlightTrack costs $5, and it’s the best app out there for tracking flights, with beautiful, zoomable maps and real-time departure schedules, delay updates, and gate numbers at a glance. FlightTrack will alert you to cancellations and even help you find an alternate flight. Full international coverage means you can track flights worldwide. FlightTrack works in tandem with TripIt.

AroundMe is a free app that quickly provides information about your surroundings. How many times have you needed to find the closest gas station? AroundMe identifies your position and shows you a complete list of all nearby businesses in a selected category, including banks, bars, gas stations, hospitals, hotels, movie theaters, restaurants, supermarkets, and taxis. Each listing includes distance from you, a map, and directions, plus you can easily add the information to your contact list or email it to a friend.

Yelp has a free app for your iPhone that can help you find whatever you need when you’re on the road, whether it’s a burrito joint that’s open right now, the closest Irish pub, or a gas station that you can drive to before your tank hits empty. You can search for places to eat, shop, drink, relax, and play, and read reviews from an active community of locals. The iPhone’s built-in location finder makes it easy to search for places nearby. This is similar to AroundMe, but I always use Yelp for restaurants because of the detailed user commentary.

There are thousands more in this category. Some work better than others. What travel apps do you use?

Robert Siciliano, personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto, discusses mobile phone spyware on Good Morning America. (Disclosures)