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After a crash an iPhone can quickly become your best friend

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After a crash an iPhone can quickly become your best friend

They get a bad rap when it comes to motoring, but smart phones can be handier than a brother-in-law with a tow truck when it comes to a prang.

Adrenaline is pumping, your mind is fuzzy and reaching for your iPhone is the last thing on your mind – securing your safety and the safety of others comes first. But the actions you take following a crash are important and the good news is, nowadays there’s more capabilities at your fingertips than ever before, you just need to look.

Take your device’s inbuilt camera for instance, snapping a few photos from a good angle provides a great visual description of how the crash occurred – valuable evidence for when you need to make a claim. You can even go so far as to take a photo of the registration plate and the other driver’s license as back-up.

Or you could go one better and download one of the many car crash apps available. These useful apps will tell you what to record at a crash scene and provide tools to make the job easier.

Note: always have a written copy of the other driver’s details in case your device fails and be extremely careful when taking pictures at a crash scene, chances are you will be on or near a road so don’t try to take any pictures if it means putting yourself or others in a dangerous situation.

The Budget Direct Team have rated two of the more popular ones available in Australia: Car Accident Report for the iPhone and iWrecked available on Android and iPhone.

Car Accident Report (C.A.R.) – 3 stars

This app has all the bells and whistles you’d expect, with an interface which enables you to pre-fill your details, and collect driver, witness and vehicle information on-the-spot. In-built audio, camera and drawing tools will help to capture every aspect of the crash along with GPS tracking to pin-point your exact location. All of this information can then be emailed in one neat bundle to your contact of choice.

The makers of this app say it’s designed for users “under stressful conditions,” but we beg to differ. The app’s graphics could do with a spruce-up and the crash instructions prove difficult to read and navigate. One obvious flaw is the voice recording feature which loads upside down, but we’re sure this will be corrected in future versions. For a free app however, the Car Accident Report is not a bad choice.

iWrecked – 4 stars

The free version of this popular international app has most of the standard C.A.R. features, minus a couple of important ones, plus a crucial one its rival doesn’t offer – emergency speed dial. All the data entry features are there, but in an attempt to coax you into paying the extra 99 cents you must download the upgraded version to access better graphics, voice memo, diagram drawing and accident mapping – features free on C.A.R. We’re also challenging the usefulness and execution of the emergency speed dial. While you can change the emergency number from the American 911 to triple zero, you are unable to do the same for tow truck, taxi or police services. Instead, you’re directed to what can often be a vague listing of businesses on Google Maps. This is a small oversight on what is otherwise a great app.

Despite all this, iWrecked is the superior app, for a few reasons. Surprised? Well, for 99 cents you’ll have all the sensible features of the C.A.R. app along with an interface that outstrips its rival in simplicity and design, making for much easier navigation in the heat of the moment. It’s also available on both iPhone and Android devices.

Good old fashioned paper

For those amongst us that would rather get the information down in a more traditional manner, why not try Budget Direct’s trusty ‘Glove Box Claims Guide’. Print it out and keep it in your car for use, should the need ever arise.

Wishing you safe and happy motoring from the Budget Direct Team!