Despite the advanced technology fitted into new cars, a snaking trail of endless red lights is guaranteed to delay your journey. Whether you’re commuting, driving to an appointment or going on staycation, traffic jams are best avoided. Here are three apps that will keep you avoid congestion and stay one step ahead of other road users.
Google maps is the the go-to navigation tool for many people when planning their journeys. Simply add your destination, hit ‘directions’, then ‘start’ and you’re off.
To identify traffic jams along your route, zoom out to spot any red and orange sections which identify delays by their severity. Google will tell you how long you’re likely to be delayed. And it will also highlight alternative routes in grey and provide the expected journey time.
Using real-time data, Google also knows when you’re approaching traffic and will flag a better route giving you the option to take another road. Just take a quick look at the options available and see which will save you most time. Then follow the directions to avoid the jam.
One of Google’s best features is the ability to add your home and work addresses which enables the system to communicate traffic conditions for your commute via in-app messaging. Which helps you get up early enough to make that important meeting.
Well known to city dwellers, Waze is an online map that continually updates routes and traffic conditions via users’ on-the-spot feedback. It also remembers your commonly used routes, frequent destinations and commute times and uses this information to help you arrive at your destination in the optimum time.
You can also create a Planned Drive by entering the time and date you need to arrive with Waze recommending the best time to leave.
Similar to Google Maps, once you select your destination, Waze provides alternative routes for you to choose from. It also uses red lines to indicate the length of traffic jams and automatically reroutes you to an alternate path.
In an effort to avoid congestion, Waze can sometimes shuttle you around residential areas which doesn’t always save time. But if you prefer to be on the move rather than sitting in traffic, Waze could be the one for you.
Best bits: detailed, up to the minute reporting and local traffic alerts.
Available: on Android and iOS
Claiming to be the world’s largest driver network, INRIX crowd sources driving data and keeps its systems up to date with on the ground feedback. This app works in a similar way to Google Maps by showing your route and colour coding the level of traffic along the way using a traffic light system.
When it comes to congestion, the main difference is that this app makes it really easy to see where it is and to find out more. For example, a road traffic accident is easily identified by the overturned car image. Simply touch the symbol and you’ll get details about the incident including where it is, how long ago it happened and the impact on traffic.
Like Waze, INRIX personalises your routes based on your driving habits and usual journeys and it also recommends trips and departure times to keep you on schedule.
Best bits: simple to see problems along your route.
Available: on Android and iOS
As app designers continue to develop their products, there’s little to choose between them. We recommend downloading a couple of these apps and giving them a trial run to see which works best for you.
Can’t decide between Google and Waze? The government is launching its own app called Street Manager which it hopes will combine data from both Google and Waze to create a best-in-class app for drivers. Watch this space….
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