Don't Waste Your Money: The good and bad to traffic phone apps - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Don't Waste Your Money: The good and bad to traffic phone apps

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Waze users can share real-time traffic and road information. (Source: Waze) Waze users can share real-time traffic and road information. (Source: Waze)
Google Maps can give you turn-by-turn navigation with real-time traffic updates. (Source: Google Maps) Google Maps can give you turn-by-turn navigation with real-time traffic updates. (Source: Google Maps)
(Toledo News Now) -

Have you tried out some of the new real-time traffic apps for your phone? They can be a great way to avoid a jam.

Listening only to radio reports to avoid traffic jams is so 1990s. Nowadays, many drivers depend on smart phone apps to steer clear of traffic jams. But caution ahead: They may not always be accurate!

The recent pictures of thousands of drivers stranded on icy Atlanta highways show how important it is to have current traffic info before you get on the interstate. No one likes being caught in a traffic jam.

As a result, millions of drivers are downloading apps, like Waze and Google Maps, to get real-time traffic conditions. Waze posts reports from drivers ahead of you on the highway. Google Maps shows traffic flow with green, yellow and red lines.

Both can be very helpful...to a point.

But from the doesn't that stink file comes when these new traffic apps set you wrong. A report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune says Waze and Google Maps are creating new traffic jams by encouraging people to take an alternate route. It cites cases where Wazers - in good faith - told everyone to exit the interstate at the same exit, moving the traffic jam onto a slow, two-lane road instead.

Your best bet is relying on multiple sources to navigate around a tie-up. Maze, Google Maps, real-time Garmin reports and radio, will each have a different perspective on a traffic jam. That will help you make a wise decision so you don't waste your money.

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