The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has introduced a new iOS app for iPhones and iPod Touches that provides real-time vehicle safety information from NHTSA's site. 

NHTSA's SaferCar app allows users to search the agency’s 5-Star Safety Ratings for vehicles by make and model, locate car seat installation help, file a vehicle safety complaint, find recall information and subscribe to automatic notices about vehicle recalls.

NHTSA will also give developers real-time access to the data that powers this app through an Application Programming Interface (API), enabling them to integrate these data into new and existing apps.

"Safety is our highest priority, and we're always working to find new and better ways for people to access SaferCar, one of the most popular programs on our website," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "This app takes advantage of the latest technology to ensure that consumers have the real-time information they need to buy safe, drive safe and stay safe."

The new SaferCar app gives users immediate access to key safety information.

Features include:

▪       5-Star Safety Ratings: App users considering vehicle purchases can look up crash test ratings and compare them across different makes and models.

▪       Recalls and Complaints: App users can stay on top of safety issues for vehicles they already own. They can register their vehicles to ensure they’re notified by NHTSA if a safety issue is discovered. The app also makes it simple to submit complaints to NHTSA regarding possible safety problems with a particular vehicle.

▪       Help Installing Child Seats: Users can quickly get driving directions to the nearest child seat inspection station and get assistance to properly install their car seats and boosters.

▪       Safety Headlines and Alerts: App users can receive important news and information from NHTSA, as well as recall notices and push notices on their recorded vehicles.

This is just the first phase for the SaferCar app, which can be downloaded from Apple's iTunes Store. Development is also underway for a version compatible with Android devices.

The launch of the NHTSA app is part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to make it easier for consumers to access and submit information about vehicle safety concerns. Earlier this year, the agency also updated resources on its website to improve accessibility to information on specific safety defect investigations, complaints and vehicle recalls. 

The SaferCar app icon for iPhone

The SaferCar app icon for iPhone

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet