Spring on the Road

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Great apps drivers can use

Smartphones are a convenient tool that few people can now imagine living without. Smartphone-toting moms and dads know they always have a camera on hand to take quick snaps of their youngsters, while foodies rely on their smartphones to find nearby restaurants or read reviews of eateries while out on the town. But drivers also can benefit from smartphones thanks to the following apps.

• Waze: Commuters who download Waze to their smartphones may wonder how they ever navigated their daily treks to the office without this useful app, which allows drivers to share real-time traffic and road information with their fellow motorists. Drivers can use Waze to save time and gas money and make their commutes less stressful. Drivers who use Waze can actively report accidents and find the least expensive gas prices posted by fellow drivers in their community.

• GasBuddy: While fuel prices dipped in late 2014 and stayed low into 2015, today's drivers are still conditioned to find the most affordable gas prices around. The GasBuddy app makes it easy to do just that, as users can share gas prices in their community, which fellow drivers can then peruse to find the most affordable filling stations along their driving routes. Drivers can even enter their city, ZIP code or postal code to find the cheapest gas in their vicinity.

• AAA Mobile: AAA members can use the AAA Mobile app to access AAA services on their smartphones. Such services include trip planning, member discounts and roadside assistance. The app also includes a mobile version of the motor club's popular TripTik® Travel Planner, which makes it easy for smartphone users to find club-approved hotels, restaurants and attractions. Drivers can even create and share trip itineraries between their desktop and mobile devices.

• Insurance: Nearly every auto insurance provider now offers its own mobile app to policy holders. Such apps may allow drivers to pay their bills, view their insurance identification cards, peruse their policies, arrange for roadside assistance and report claims among other things. These apps put your auto insurance provider at your fingertips and can make it much easier to manage your policy.