For the last year I have been commuting to work- five days a week, in peak rush hour traffic, 40 miles each way to and from the office. There have been numerous instances over the last year when the drive was so stressful and cut-throat that I have seriously considered giving up. I have imagined myself pulling over on the side of the major interstate I travel on and just waiting for the traffic to subside and the maniac drivers to return to their homes. Every morning I would type the office address into Apple Maps and hope that on that particular day I would be accurately directed towards the most efficient and least stressful route. Unfortunately three out of ten mornings I would be lead astray by Apple Maps into gridlock traffic, construction zone delays, and sheer stress. After sharing my frustration with a fellow commuter, I was urged to download the Waze app and she promised that it would change my driving experience completely. Simply stated, it has.

The Waze app calculates, with incredible accuracy, the quickest route to your destination. The app gives real time traffic updates by utilizing a social network of drivers who are, “Outsmarting traffic. Together.” Wazers are able to send traffic reports along the way: tag a road hazard, report a hidden patrol car, send an accident alert, among others. When another Wazer subsequently drives passed the point where the alert was sent, they can either like the alert or denote that the alert is inaccurate. You can search an extensive database for your destination by typing in the location or using the voice command feature. The app will allow you to store your home, work, and other favorite addresses. Simply tap home and you’re on your way. Once you have your destination set, Waze will automatically calculate the quickest route and your ETA as well as provide you with alternate routes and their associated ETA’s. During your drive, the app will voice navigate you as well as alert you of upcoming heavy traffic, patrol cars, and vehicles stopped on the side of the road. You can even spot nearby Wazers and the speed they are traveling on the map.

The Waze app, believe it or not, has made driving and commuting more enjoyable. You get points and are incentivized for participating with the application. Having the app has really made me feel like I get to be a part of something bigger, as corny as that might sound. Us Wazers, get to work together as a community to spot driving hazards, speed traps, and accidents and then show our appreciation to one another. If you want a more accurate navigation app that has a lot of interactive features and the most up to date traffic patterns, download Waze app. If you’re afraid of change and like sitting in traffic, don’t. But even my Handyman uses Waze to locate his customers. And if an old school Handyman can use it, so can you.