Roadside assistance on demand

Sometimes Brian Danaher will be sitting in his car and his phone will start to vibrate.

An app is telling him another person needs help getting from A to B and Brian's the closest person to give it.

Uber driver? No. Brian's the owner of Roadside Northwest, a roadside service company. The app he uses is called Urgent.ly.

"Some call us Uber for roadside assistance," Urgent.ly co-founder Rick Robinson said.

Like Uber, the app connects users to a network of independent contractors -- in this case, tow and roadside service providers.

If you get a flat or need a jump or tow, you can use the app to put out a call to nearby providers who take the job for a flat rate you pay upfront.

The price for service, according to Urgent.ly's website, is $75 for help with a dead battery, flat tire, empty tank or lockout. Tows start at $99 for a 0-10 mile trip.

Brian said he encourages people to use the app because it's often cheaper than an auto club membership.

But, he added, most of his calls still come from more traditional sources (auto clubs and insurance companies).

Urgent.ly, along with Honk (a similar roadside assist app), each boast service from partner providers in all 50 states.

Aside from coverage, Robinson touted the app's ability to let you see where your tow truck driver is in real-time.

"When you're on the side of the road and you're nervous and you're scared, that's not a time when you want to wonder when someone's going to come help you," Robinson said.

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