4 Best Apps to Help Avoid a Traffic Jam
By: Good2GoPublished: September 29, 2014
Last week, we gave you some great tips on how to avoid the bane of every driver’s existence – traffic. In addition to these simple tips, you can use the power of mobile technology to beat highway congestion. Here are the four best apps that will help you avoid traffic on your way to work, home, school – or wherever you may be going.
Starting off simple with a tried and true mapping system, Google Maps, which is accessible by desktop, is also available as a mobile app. In addition to helping users find the best routes to their destinations, Google Maps allows users to search for traffic along the way. Simply open the app, touch the sidebar and select the Traffic option. You will see color-coded traffic conditions that indicate how fast (or slow) traffic is moving. For example:
- Green: more than 50 miles per hour
- Yellow: 25 – 50 miles per hour
- Red: less than 25 miles per hour
- Red/Black: very slow, stop-and-go traffic
The app is currently available for free for Android and iOS devices.
Described as a “free community-based mapping, traffic and navigation” app, Waze is the fastest growing mobile app for evading traffic jams worldwide.
According to their website, Waze wants to “help people create local driving communities that work together to improve the quality of everyone’s daily driving.” This includes: helping drivers avoid the frustration of sitting in traffic, warning them of potential police traps, or shaving off five minutes of their daily commute.
So how does Waze work?
Simply open the app when you get into your vehicle, and Waze will collect data about your route such as speed, detours, etc. Users who want to take a more proactive approach with the app can report police traps or traffic accidents. Users can even edit maps online. The app is all about user-generated data and real-time results.
Waze is free for download for Android, iOS and Windows smartphones.
Similar to the previous apps mentioned, INRIX Traffic factors in various driving conditions to help users find the best route possible “with the least delay.” By providing the most up-to-date traffic data, drivers are able to make smarter driving decisions in real-time. INRIX collects the most accurate data from phones, GPS, traffic cameras, and in-car navigation systems. Like Waze, INRIX makes it easy to report accidents, hazards and police traps.
Users can receive personalized traffic news relevant to their route and share arrival and departure times with friends and family. In the premium version of the app, users can also receive daily updated gas prices. INRIX Traffic is free to download for all major smartphones.
Beat the Traffic
This traffic app is “dedicated to the daily driver.” Beat the Traffic helps commuters understand how real-time traffic can impact their daily route and if they should take a different route to their destination. The data collected by the app is crowdsourced which means other commuters are able to submit real-time information about current traffic conditions such as traffic flow, travel times and incidents. To report an incident to other drivers, the app has a feature that allows users to shake the phone to submit an incident report.
Other key features of the app include:
- Full map view with real-time traffic flow, cameras and incidents
- Personalized traffic info
- Real-time traffic push notifications or email
- ‘Smart Route’ feature which recommends the best route for you based on time and road conditions
This app is free for download on Android and Apple phones.
Now that you have a new set of tools in your arsenal to combat traffic jams, be sure to use these apps wisely. Pull over to a safe area to use these apps so you aren’t mistaken for texting while driving.
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