2400 N. Main St. High Point, NC 27262 336-600-1125

Navigate these driver assistance apps

It is never a good idea to use smartphones or other devices while behind the wheel. In fact, distracted driving is a key risk factor for automotive accidents. However, certain smartphone applications and features can make road trips and other excursions easier, safer and more enjoyable - provided these apps are used before getting in the car, when safely pulled over, or in the hands of a passenger.
Make a pitstop
Drivers may not know where to pull off the highway when they need a mid-trip snack or a restroom run. iExit enables you to see all upcoming exits on a particular roadway (when location services are turned on) and which amenities are accessible at each exit. The app also tells drivers which way to go if they need to find gas stations or restaurants. Icons indicating food, fuel, hospitals, and even banks/ATM machines are included to indicate what's available at the exit.
Popular sights
Field Trip by Google will pull from categories you have selected and your location to indicate potential sites of interest around you. The app works off of recommendations from travel and lifestyle sources, and will provide Bluetooth-enabled alerts when you're close by.
Fill 'er up
Exclusively for locating fuel stations, GasBuddy also helps drivers compare gas prices so they can save money if they so desire. When fuel costs can make or break a trip, this app will keep your tank and wallet full.
Gain performance data
To keep track of vehicle performance, use Dynolicious Classic. While this app's not free, it's less expensive than a visit to a service station. Dynolicious relies on an iPhone's built-in accelerometers to gauge lateral and longitudinal acceleration and horsepower.
Get trusted repairs
It is important to find a trusted mechanic who will fix a problem for a reasonable price. Repair Pal is an app that has already culled quotes and reviews from nearby mechanics to simplify comparison shopping.
Navigation made easy
Smartphones already feature built-in map apps that offer navigation and directions, such as those offered by Google and Apple. But Waze is a community-driven app that provides real-time updates to traffic situations, gas prices, law enforcement sightings, and alternative routes to avoid delays.
No more lost cars
Finding that elusive parking spot can be challenging. When you finally grab a space in a parking garage or on city streets, you want to make sure you can find your way back there easily. Enter Honk, an app that can mark your vehicle's location with a GPS pin. You can also make text or verbal notes indicating position or how much time you have on a parking meter, as well as use the app to find businesses nearby.
Various apps can be assets to drivers, helping them to save both money and time.

How drivers can stay safe in bright conditions

Weather often contributes to motor vehicle accidents. Snow, rain and other factors that compromise drivers' vision can make driving hazardous, but there's a dark side to sunny skies as well.

Glare from the sun can compromise drivers' vision and lead to driving mishaps, regardless of drivers' experience or skill level. The sun can pack a powerful punch any time during the day, but can be especially hazardous in the early morning sunrise and late-afternoon sunset.

A 2017 study published in the journal Medicine titled, "Life-threatening motor vehicle crashes in bright sunlight" looked at the risks posed by bright sunlight. Researchers found that the risk of a life-threatening crash was 16 percent higher during bright sunlight than during normal weather. Researchers concluded that bright sunlight may create visual illusions that lead to driver error, including poor distance judgment.

Plentiful sunlight is often a hallmark of spring and summer, but sun-blindness is a real concern for drivers. As anyone who has turned into blazing sun only to discover their windshield has been rendered opaque by sun glare can attest, driving on sunny days can be challenging. Unfortunately, the sun might create substantial glare during rush hour, making driving during these times more dangerous and accidents more likely.

While there might be no way to prevent glare, drivers can take steps to make driving safer during times of day when glare is prevalent.

· Make sure the windshield is clean. Water marks, dead insects, cracks, and road grime can make it even harder to see out of the windshield when the sun is blazing. Clean windshields regularly, and don't wait until you're head-on into the sun to engage the windshield washer spray. Doing so may only further compromise visibility.

· Observe speed limits. When glare is present, slow down and keep more space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. If someone in front of you needs to brake suddenly, the greater distance between vehicles can give you more time to react and avoid accidents.

· Change your route. Try changing your commute so you're not driving head-on into eastern sun in the morning and western sun in the afternoon.

· Invest in new sunglasses. Special lenses that mitigate glare, UV rays and blue light can make it easier for drivers to handle glare when behind the wheel.

· Make sure the visor is functioning. Sun visors are there for a reason. Use it to the best of your ability, angling as needed.

· Pull over. If the glare is especially bad, Plymouth Rock Assurance suggests playing it safe and pulling over until the sun rises or sets. You also may want to change your driving time to avoid the glare.

Motor vehicle accidents can happen on bright, sunny days. Glare can compromise drivers' visibility, and drivers may need to take steps to protect their vision on sunny days.