Whether you live in a densely urban area or have to commute a long distance on a regular basis, traffic most likely manifests in your driving experiences from time to time. For the longest, avoiding traffic consisted of guessing where the majority of people would be driving at select hours and avoiding those routes in order to evade gridlock. These days, though, technology is assisting drivers in making smart decisions about which routes to take and when a detour is a better option. Below, you will find descriptions and features of four mobile applications that are assisting commuters in evading the hassle of being caught in traffic.
Beat the Traffic
If you are residing in North America and need a way to avoid the usual bumper to bumper traffic in congested areas, then Beat the Traffic offers a proactive solution. With the free version of this app, users will be able to retrieve real-time information on major routes in their vicinity – the average speed, any and all accidents as well as construction sites will all be displayed. If you travel select routes often, you can save these to the app and pull them up whenever needed. Available on iOS and Android devices, Beat the Traffic is a free application and one that will come in handy when on the road.
If you want to make sure the road ahead will be clear, then Route Alert is a great app to have and check before departing. For just $1.49 via the Android Marketplace, you will have access to traffic data on all major highways and streets. With options to create customized routes and notifications, you can always be prepared to take a detour when the situation dictates. Estimated route times are automatically calculated based on traffic conditions, letting you know when you should leave the house and when you’ll arrive at your destination.
If you need a quick reference tool for how traffic on the road ahead looks but do not want a bunch of added features, then QuickTraffic is a great reference tool. Available for free via the Android Marketplace, QuickTraffic provides colour coded information for each street and highway to allow you to plan for your next commute. Using the Google Maps traffic system, this standalone app can be a quick solution to opening Google Maps, activating the traffic layer and then having to disable it when needing to the use the map for something else.
Waze Social GPS
Recently acquired by Google and most likely heading for a massive overhaul, Waze Social GPS has become an extremely popular social traffic app in areas where some of the other apps on this list fail. Users contribute to Waze by simply driving: when you activate the app and commute, that data is transmitted to Waze’s servers to help all drivers determine what traffic conditions are like in the area. You can also use Waze to find the cheapest prices for gasoline in your area. With live routing options and community-based road alerts, you will always have the most up-to-date traffic information at your disposal.
Today’s guest writer, Jenny Wadlow, is a freelance blogger. She has worked with some of the top traffic lawyers in Dandenong, because of which her blog posts are usually associated with traffic problems. You can follow her on Twitter to get more @JennyWadlow.