Have you ever been on a family road trip where things are humming along nicely- you’re making good time and then all of a sudden you can see in the horizon the red lights coming from all the cars ahead of you? And suddenly you find yourself right smack in the middle of a traffic jam! Now you can certainly turn on the AM radio and try to find a station offering traffic reports… but when you don’t know the area, it’s kind of hard to listen to the report and figure out if the traffic jam reported on I-95 at the Lakes Road exit is the the one that’s ahead of you or not. And even if it is the accident they are reporting, how many miles ahead of you is it? And are you better off trying to find a detour around the traffic jam or just sit tight knowing that you’ll get through it in the next 5 to 10 minutes?
And that’s why my friends, you need the app Waze. Waze is a free, community-based traffic and navigation app where other drivers report traffic and road conditions which helps everyone else on the road know what’s up ahead. In our family it’s the person sitting in the front passenger seat who uses the Waze app when we hit traffic, and if Steve’s driving I’ll click over on my phone and quickly open up the Waze app to immediately bring up the road map on the GPS system and see on the map the current traffic conditions based on what other drivers are reporting in the area. You can use your finger to scroll up ahead along your route to see how far ahead of you the traffic accident is, and then you can decide if you want to try to detour around it or just sit tight and get through it.
You can also use Waze as a basic navigation system- simply type in your destination’s address and Waze can route you there. You can also use Waze to help you find the nearest and cheapest gas station (who doesn’t love that!) All of this information comes from the community of users who contribute data to Waze.
Of course like any community, you want to be an upstanding member- so as the navigator in your car (and never as the driver!) be sure to report any accidents, traffic jams, or road hazards that you see to the Waze system. It’s a simple push of the button and it you’ll be glad to help other drivers just as you have been helped.
Do you use Waze when you take road trips? What’s your favorite thing about the Waze app? Please leave a comment and share!