With the recent buzz surrounding the use of cell phones and devices while in the car, and new laws put in place to prevent texting and the hands-on use of phones while driving, many people are wondering how this applies to using their traffic applications, digital maps, etc. It’s important to note that the new laws require that phones only be used in a hands-free manner, and since these traffic apps are typically synced with your blue tooth system or are used in speaker-mode, they are still safe to use while driving. They can actually be helpful as they assist drivers in avoiding heavy traffic (and therefore lessening the chance of an accident due to being rushed), making wrong turns, and other minor issues that can cause a big problem during your daily commute.
While there are many options when it comes to map programs and driving applications, a few have topped the popularity charts. Three favorites among drivers here in the Tampa Bay region are:
- Waze. This is perhaps the most-loved among commuters as it offers a wide array of features and also gives a “social” element to the driving experience. Because information is provided by other drivers, it is, for the most part, “real time” information. Information about traffic accidents, a broken down vehicle or other obstacle on the road, construction zones, etc. are all included in addition to heavy traffic alerts and typical information included in most apps. Users also appreciate the fact that the estimated arrival time is based on current traffic conditions and traffic patterns, so you get a more accurate picture of what your commute or trip will look like. While the app can drain your battery due to the significant number of notifications coming through, as long as you keep a spare charger in your car Waze is a great (FREE!) option for daily use and for long-distance road trips.
- Google Maps. This app has proven the test of time and is one of the most well known options. Obviously Google is one of the most inclusive sources of information in today’s world, and their traffic information is no exception. Their maps are regularly updated and information is given in real-time so ETAs (estimated time of arrival) and traffic updates are accurate for the most part and helpful when trying to avoid certain areas or make better time during your work commute each day. This app, also free, is pretty solid and has worked most of the bugs out, but users do complain about occasional issues with the reroute option, and every now and then, having the app shut down suddenly without warning.
- MapQuest. This oldie but goodie has been around long before apps and smart devices were even an option. MapQuest started as a website where users could enter information about their start point, and end point, and have a program put together the best possible route for you based on criteria you entered (avoiding highway driving, going through specific cities, etc.). Nowadays, the application gives the same options plus a lot more. From webcams that show live traffic information to color-coded traffic bars that keep you updated on road conditions, the application gives users an overall good experience. Some drivers have complained that the location information isn’t always on point, and there are some issues with alternate route options, but those are pretty small complaints in comparison to the benefits.
Sessums Law Group is thankful for technology that makes our daily drive and local roads safer and easier to navigate, but they aren’t foolproof and they don’t prevent accidents on their own. Safe driving is a skill, and even with that skill, the unexpected can still happen to you. If and when an accident comes your way, we are here to make sure you are taken care of and get the compensation you deserve. We handle a huge variety of cases involving vehicle accidents and we’re here TO STAND FOR YOU. Give us a call for more information and to discuss your case.