WatchOut Frequently Asked Questions

WatchOut Frequently Asked Questions2018-07-28T09:19:15+00:00
What locations are currently supported?2019-10-18T02:55:09+00:00

WatchOut is in preview. We are continually improving the quality of our data and experience. Our coverage currently includes the following states:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington D.C.
  • Wyoming

We are actively working to expand our coverage area. We would like to hear your suggestions and feedback. Contact us directly from the app or through the contact-us link on this site.

What are common causes of accidents that WatchOut will alert me to?2019-04-25T03:31:06+00:00

WatchOut categorizes accidents by the primary cause. We have many categories and are continuing to expand our list. Here are a few:

  • Left/Right Curve
  • Slowing Traffic
  • Merging Traffic
  • Low Bridge
  • Pedestrians
  • Cyclists
  • Children
  • Parking Cars
  • Irregular Intersection
  • Deer Crossing
  • Embankment
  • Traffic Island
  • Curb
  • Fallen Rocks
What does a weather icon next to a hotspot mean?2019-04-25T03:35:38+00:00

WatchOut uses weather when determining if it should alert you to a hotspot. Some hotspots are weather specific, meaning they are dangerous during certain weather conditions such as snow, fog, or rain. Imagine a curve on a highway that is dangerous when it’s covered with snow, but otherwise relatively safe. The weather icon over a hotspot indicates which weather condition it’s dangerous in. If there is no weather icon, then the hazard is not impacted by the weather. When driving, weather specific alerts only trigger when current road and weather conditions match those that make it dangerous.

 

Can I use WatchOut with my navigation app?2018-07-28T05:49:09+00:00

Yes you can! First start WatchOut, then activate Trip mode with the play button, then launch your navigation app. WatchOut will run in the background providing voice alerts while your navigation app guides you.

I see too many alert hotspots, what should I do?2019-02-06T23:44:04+00:00

Open the options menu using the icon in the bottom right. Adjust the “How Many Alerts” slider to the left to filter to fewer, higher ranked alerts.

I don’t see any alert hotspots, what should I do?2019-02-06T23:44:32+00:00

First, make sure your device has an internet connection. You should see an error such as “Can’t contact server” if the app is having problems talking to the server. Second, check the list of supported locations available on this page and make sure that your location is currently supported. If it is, go to the options menu using the icon in the bottom right and adjust the “How Many Alerts” slider to the right to show more alerts. Finally if you still don’t see any alerts, you may live in an area with so few accidents that we can’t identify any patterns. Try zooming out to explore another location.

In trip mode I don’t see as many alerts as I do in explore mode, why not?2019-06-04T05:20:04+00:00

That is correct. Trip mode filters all available alerts down to only those that are relevant right now. This is done using live traffic data, the times accidents occur at the location, as well as the cause of the accidents. For example, some alerts such as those caused by sharp curves in a road will be visible all the time. Others such as slowing traffic, are really only relevant during peak traffic periods. Still others such as deer crossings have a seasonal aspect as well as simply a time of day and day of the week. All of these are factored in to provide you only relevant alerts.

In trip mode, sometimes alerts appear on the map but don’t trigger when I pass over them, why not?2019-02-14T05:14:32+00:00

Alerts are triggered in trip mode when the system believes that activating the alert is valuable. Alert activation is sensitive to driving dynamics such as speed, acceleration, braking, and turning rate. For example it may not activate if you are traveling too slowly for the alert to be relevant or so fast that it is unlikely the alert would apply based on traffic conditions. To minimize distraction alert activation is also sensitive to factors such as are you too close to the hotspot and have you recently received the same alert message. If you believe you have encountered a situation where an alert should have triggered but did not, feel free to contact us.

What does the “Reload” button next to Reload Alerts do in the options menu?2018-08-13T22:34:30+00:00

The WatchOut app stores data it retrieves from the server on your device in what’s commonly referred to as a “cache”. This enables the app to work faster because it doesn’t have to ask the server for the same information over and over again. It should not be necessary to use this button since the app and server should always be in sync, but if the app is not showing alerts on the explore map as it should, you can press the “Reload” button which will force the app to get data from the server again.

I don’t drive, is this app still helpful to me?2018-07-28T09:16:48+00:00

Absolutely. One of the biggest fears of most cyclists is getting in an accident with a car. Go to the options menu using the icon in the bottom right and choose “Cycling” as your activity type. This tells the app to only show alerts relevant to cyclists. There is a “Walking” activity type for those who walk a lot in urban areas. You might also get some peace of mind from knowing that drivers who use WatchOut will see alerts warning them of areas where there are cyclist or pedestrian collisions so that they can be more careful as well.

What devices do you support?2018-09-24T23:09:37+00:00

The initial version of WatchOut supports iOS devices including iPhones and iPads. If you would like to see WatchOut on another device please let us know.

More Questions? Contact Us
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