You probably already think of your smartphone as an extension of yourself. After all, you carry it everywhere, and it is always present in your vehicle.

Innovators constantly come up with new apps for drivers. Now you can use one to help you weather a crash and another to collect data on your driving skills, information that is much sought after by your insurance company.

Detecting a crash

In the event you are about to experience a crash, SOSmart goes into action. This app detects the collision using the GPS and accelerometer functions in your smartphone. In the aftermath of the crash, it sends an alert to your pre-programmed emergency contacts and provides directions to hospitals in the area. An app similar to SOSmart, iWrecked sends alerts to pre-selected contacts when a crash occurs. It also takes photos, creates an accident log and locates taxis and towing companies.

Observing your driving behavior

Are you a good driver? Apps like Everdrive, available in both the Apple Store and Google Play, rate your driving behaviors, such as speeding, accelerating, braking, cornering and cellphone use. A study by EverQuote, the company behind the app, indicates that participating drivers who used Everdrive over a period of four months improved their driving by 31%. The information, collected from your phone’s gyroscope, GPS and accelerometer, is of interest to insurance companies so they can better understand what kind of drivers their customers are. Some companies, like Allstate and State Farm, offer discounts to drivers who provide this kind of data.

A part of life

Like smartphones, our vehicles are part of our everyday lives. We want to keep them—and ourselves—in one piece. Sometimes, though, accidents occur. If you should be involved in a crash, there is an app to help you get through it. Alternatively, on an ordinary day when nothing unusual occurs in the world of traffic, another app can collect information about your driving behavior.