I installed Waze when it was first released in the fall of 2011.  I didn’t have much use for it on a daily basis but used it for the occasional road trip.  While heading to Richmond Mother’s Day weekend for the VCU graduation, we hit a huge traffic jam.  I fired Waze up to see if we could tell how long we might be stuck.  It provided real-time information from other users in the same traffic jam, and offered us a new route with turn-by-turn directions.  You can now chat with other Waze users in the same traffic jam to find out what’s going on (if you choose to).

When just starting to use Waze, you appear as a car with a pacifier until you go at least 100 miles.  The balloon on the right gives you the ability to report accidents, traffic jams, hazards, etc.  You can also report police–and note if they are hidden or in plain sight.  If someone else reports a hazard, you can confirm it is still there as you go by.  Your reports can also be linked with Facebook, Twitter, and FourSquare.

As you’re traveling to your destination, it will update the minutes to your arrival based on constantly-updated traffic conditions.

You have to confirm you are the passenger so you don’t endanger yourself while the car is moving.  I heard the newer iPhones equipped with Siri have additional functionality where you can wave your hand in front of it and verbally report conditions.  This app is free, and very useful.  It’s not only good on roadtrips, it’s also good to view your commute before you leave the house to see if there are any issues.  This app will only improve over time and as more people use it and provide useful information.