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September 04, 2012

5 Apps to Help Upgrade Your Morning Commute

Iphone4Between skyrocketing gas prices and gridlock traffic, there’s nothing fun about your morning commute. Wish you could stop the pain at the pump and skip the congestion? Try these five tools and apps for drivers, and you just might find yourself with a more restful, enjoyable daily commute.

Waze. Skip the congestion with Waze, which analyzes the GPS location of all other users to predict traffic and other road data. The app also uses crowdsourcing and user-feedback to help you find the quickest route to work, and will even redirect you with turn-by-turn directions when users report an accident or other event.

Gas Price Locator. Score the lowest price per gallon each time you fill up using Allstate’s gas price locator: Just enter your zip code to find the lowest reported gas price in your area. I did a recent check of Washington, DC gas prices and found prices ranging from $3.73 near Georgetown to just $3.57 in Bethesda, MD.

TrapsterWe don’t encourage speeding at Allstate (obviously), but, beyond identifying speed traps and red light cameras, this app helps you spot and report road hazards, children at play, road construction sites and, even, road kill. Trapster pools information from over 16.5 million drivers to give you an early warning to potential road hazards.

Motion X GPS Drive. Go ahead and list your old GPS on eBay; you won’t need it once you download Motion X. This app combines turn-by-turn instructions with Inrix traffic data, posted speed limits (it gives you a warning when you exceed the limit), and, along with a boatload of other features, the option to check-in on Facebook when you arrive at your destination. The learning curve is a bit steep on this one. Once you’ve mastered the app, however, I bet you’ll never drive without it.

ParkWhiz. ParkWhiz let’s you find and reserve a guaranteed parking space before you reach your destination. Search results reflect real-time parking availability at 1000+ parking facilities across the country (though heaviest in Chicago). Knowing that a guaranteed parking spot will be waiting for you when you arrive can certainly take the edge off an early morning commute.

What is your must-have commuter app?

Pamela Reyhan is the manager of digital content strategy for the Allstate Blog, which helps people prepare for the unpredictability of life. She loves all things digital, is the mother of twin girls and is a former Diet Coke addict


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