Government agencies can do many things well, but their websites often come up short. Consider the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's site, which even we have trouble navigating -- and we use it on a near-daily basis.
We don't blame NHTSA for the website's awkwardness: the agency has a lot of info to share, and organizing it in a straightforward, accessible way isn't easy. But that's cold comfort for someone looking for quick-and-easy data.
Thankfully, NHTSA has launched an app called SaferCar, which offers the most important features of NHTSA's website, without all the stuff users might not need to access on the go.
For example, SaferCar offers an easy way for consumers to look up safety ratings on vehicles. It also provides a simple interface for finding recalls and complaints about specific makes and models, and even offers a tool for users to file their own complaints.
Even better: SaferCar is free, and NHTSA has an API for the app so that developers can integrate NHSTA's data into countless other apps.
The only downside? At the moment, the SaferCar app is only available for iOS devices like the iPhone. (NHTSA says it's working on a version for Android handsets and tablets, though the agency doesn't offer a release date.)
Curious? You can download SaferCar by visiting the iTunes App Store.