A gigantic winter storm is, and it may not be the last of the season. Snowy streets, black ice, and mud present dangers, even for a quick trip to the grocery store.
You may be thinking, “I’m a good driver. Everyone should learn to drive. I’ve thought about that too, and I’ve also experienced enough snowstorms – and wrecks – to know that being a good driver isn’t enough.
Here are six apps to download before hitting the road this winter because, as my dad used to say, it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
With over 61 million membersAAA is almost synonymous with roadside assistance, and the AAA mobile app continues this legacy. The app lets you request help and track your driver’s progress, so you know when help is coming. You can also see your driver’s name and photo in the app. AAA Mobile also shows you the cheapest gas prices and other deals near you.
The AAA Mobile application is free to download from the App store and Google Play Storebut you need an AAA subscription to access roadside assistance and other features. Membership Plans costs between $35 and $135.50 annually.
is an app that offers roadside assistance like jump-starting a battery or fixing a flat tire, and it also uses sensors in your smartphone to detect if you’ve been involved in an accident. If these sensors go off, OnStar advisors will call you to check on you. Then they will contact first responders with your location.
honking is like the Uber or Lyft of roadside assistance. If you need help, enter your location and what your situation is in the app and nearby service providers will bid for your job. You choose the winning bid and pay through the app. Honk also claims that its network of 75,000 service providers guarantees an average wait time of 15-30 minutes.
Blink roadside is an online roadside assistance service. Blink’s flat pricing is what sets it apart from its competitors. Roadside services like starting, curbside winching, or fuel delivery cost $65, and tows start at $99 and increase by $5 per mile after five miles. There are no membership fees, which makes Blink a good option if you don’t need year-round support. Blink says its rates could save drivers 40% based on local market rates.
Waze is a community-based traffic app that offers real-time road conditions. Drivers with Waze share traffic information with others on the app so you know if a road is covered in snow or ice before you leave home.
Owned by Google, Waze also offers roadside assistance, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a service provider will respond. When you use this feature, your location and the help you need is displayed on the Waze map for 30 minutes. Other Waze users, or a third-party partner, can see it and, in theory, come to help you. But we don’t recommend broadcasting your location to unknown users when there are so many other options available.
The weather channel
The app doesn’t have roadside assistance, but it can alert you to bad weather before it happens, so you don’t go out just before a snowstorm. The app offers hourly, daily and weekly local forecasts, as well as precipitation alerts. A radar map shows you real-time weather, and there’s a Future Radar feature that displays weather forecasts.
If the roads are good and the weather is not bad, you canand if you go on an adventure, .