FARGO, N.D. (AP) - When a powerful blizzard ripped through North Dakota last winter, hundreds of drivers were stranded as white-out conditions shuttered interstates statewide.
That convinced two local software developers to create the Winter Survival Kit app.
North Dakota State University's Bob Bertsch and Jake Joraanstad came up with the free program for iPhones and Android smartphones to help motorists prepare for winter driving and when things go badly.
It can pinpoint a motorist's location, call 911, notify friends and monitor how long the gas will hold out. The app also gives potentially life-saving reminders to stay with your vehicle and keep the tailpipe clear of snow.
Since some rural areas have shoddy cellphone coverage, some features including GPS could be impeded. But the developers hope the app helps anyone in winter-driving trouble.