It rained buckets here all day the other day, which generally means that parts of the road I take to work— the unfortunately named Saw Mill River Parkway (this area has a number of roads named after bodies of water, which never bodes well when it storms)—would likely be flooded the next morning.
I listened to the radio at home when I woke up, but there was no mention of the Saw Mill in any of the reports. Strange. But then I remembered Waze. It’s a free navigation app with spoken turn-by-turn directions and updates when there are obstacles ahead, such as traffic or construction. According to Waze, there were no incidents reported on my route to work. So I optimistically began driving my usual way—and Waze was right! No flooding, no problems.
Waze saved me one Sunday also on my very slow drive back from visiting my sister in Philadelphia. Tons of traffic, lots of construction, and no real good alternate routes—until I hit the New York border and I had some options. Waze kept me out of standstill traffic on 287, which I figure saved me about a half hour off an already interminable trip.
Waze works on my iPhone and also on Android and Blackberry. In addition to all the nav features, it has social elements that allow you to check in on Facebook and Twitter, post traffic, and chat with nearby drivers. We don't think this is a good idea, given the dangers of distracted driving. But used for simple navigation, Waze can be a real timesaver. Read more about it here, from one of our intrepid autos reporters.
And check out our roundup of road-trip planners above, if you haven’t already. Happy—and safe—travels!