Thanksgiving Driving 2015 - What Are The Best And Worst Times To Drive?

This Thanksgiving, let Waze help you spend more quality time with the ones you love - not more quality time with your car. To predict the best and worst times to drive this holiday, Waze analyzed the 2014 app usage of millions of U.S. Wazers during the week of Thanksgiving, as well as the two weeks prior and two weeks following the holiday.

Findings showed:

Best Day to Travel: Thanksgiving Day (Thursday) is the best time to head out of town as app usage resembles that of a weekend, peaking between 12pm & 4pm. Head out in the morning or evening to avoid congestion.

Worst Days to Travel: Don’t try to leave right after work on Tuesday or Wednesday as many people have the same idea, creating the highest usage of Waze.

Best Day to Head Home: Saturday shows the lightest usage, but if you want to extend your trip through the weekend, early Monday morning is an option as well! Just be sure to leave before 10am to avoid mid-morning rush hour.

Worst Day to Head Home: Watch out for heavy traffic on Sunday. Rush hour lasts all day with the highest peak occurring between 1-6pm.

To further support your travel plans, Waze recently introduced its 4.0 version for iOS - a fresh, cleaner design for easier navigation, reporting and sharing - making Waze the perfect co-pilot for Thanksgiving travel. New features include:

ETA Sharing: Eliminates the need for "Where are you?" texts as Wazers can send ETA via text, email or in-app message before driving quite easily. ETA also self-updates as road conditions change.

Smart Calendar: Wazers can now sync their calendars to receive alerts to incidents that could impact travel and arrival times before you leave the house or work. For Thanksgiving, people can add appointments as to when they'd like to arrive at an airport or Thanksgiving dinner-we'll keep an eye on the traffic and message you if you need to hit the road early.

With all of this in mind, Waze hopes you have happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Waze Releases New Version - Welcome to Waze 4.0!

We've got some exciting news today. Just in time for fall, we've released a new version for the App Store with Android on the way. After installing Waze, you'll immediately notice a newer, cleaner design that makes for easier navigation, reporting, and sharing - you might call it a brand new Waze experience.

Less Taps Needed

We redesigned this version to better serve your driving needs and experience. Now, it takes less taps to access many of Waze's key features.

Tapping the left button pulls up the navigation menu and all of your frequent and favorite destinations. Meanwhile, tapping the right button gives you quick access to your contacts for a number of actions including: Sending directions, your location, and ETA to those awaiting your arrival.

You can view alternate routes, add a stop or let someone know you're on the way from the center button where your ETA time is displayed.

Newly Designed Reporting Menu

The report menu is now located right on the map with a big orange button. The menu is faster with bolder, color-coded categories. Also, there's a quick report action that you can activate by tapping and holding down the report menu.

Reminders to Leave for Events on Time 

Now you can get reminders to leave on time for Calendar events based on traffic. Just sync your Calendar and Waze will be on the lookout for traffic, letting you know when you should hit the road. Remember to add a street address to your event location and you're set.

Minimized Battery Usage

This is a big one! Version 4.0 significantly reduces battery consumption so you can keep Waze fired up without losing your charge.

That’s it. You’re now ready for a new Waze experience. Let us know what you think!

Global Driver Satisfaction Index

Waze evaluated the driving experience of 50 million users in 32 countries and 167 metro areas to create the world’s first “Driver Satisfaction Index”, a single numerical score from satisfying (10) to miserable (1).

The Waze Driver Satisfaction Index is based on six key factors:
Traffic Level by frequency and severity of traffic jams
Road quality and infrastructure
Driver safety based on accidents, road hazards and weather
Driver services like access to gas stations and easy parking
Socio-Economic* including access to cars and impact of gas prices
“Wazeyness,” the level of helpfulness and happiness within the Waze community

See full documentation here.
*World Bank

Best and Worst Places to Be A Driver?

The Dutch driving experience can’t be beat! Despite the fact that the Netherlands is one of the most densely-populated countries in the world - behind Bangladesh, South Korea and Taiwan - the country performed best overall and outranked all other countries with the least amount of traffic.
On a city level, Phoenix, Arizona has the best driving conditions in the world, with low traffic and self-identified “happy” drivers.

Several Latin American countries including El Salvador and Guatemala are the toughest places to be a driver right now, ranking last due to frequency and severity of traffic jams, lack of driver services, and poor road infrastructure.

Let’s Talk About Traffic

The Netherlands, Slovakia, Sweden, and Czech Republic all reported an easy, breezy driving experience in the Top 5. Believe it or not, the U.S. and France have some of the lightest traffic in the world thanks to smaller cities with appropriate infrastructure that’s easy to navigate.

On a city level, Manila reported the worst traffic on Earth, with Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Jakarta not far behind.

In fact, Indonesia had the most cities on the list (8!) inferring a dreadful driving experience country-wide.

The Power of Positivity

Waze was built around the belief that we are all in this together. The app empowers travelers to share information that may keep a neighbor out of traffic, or help save a life during dangerous weather. Wazers can even thank one another for their reports.

This circle of community values and good vibes breeds what we call “Wazeyness” - a positive state of mind - even when stuck in traffic. So where are drivers most Wazey?

Belgium is the most Wazey country on Earth, winning by instances of gratitude and drivers who consider themselves happy (measured by the Mood they’ve chosen to represent them on the Waze map.) Indonesian drivers are most likely to feel stressed or unhappy - with eight cities sporting the worst traffic in the world, who can blame them?

Chilean Wazers are some of the most positive, while Italian drivers are some of the most frustrated - despite Chile ranking poorly on several indices and Italy’s stellar road ratings! It seems driver happiness is truly a state of mind.

Still want more?
Country rankings by index, download .pdf
Metro rankings by index, download .pdf
Big Metro rankings by index, download .pdf

Waze Teams Up With Several Cities to Alert Drivers of Hazardous Intersections

Waze has always been about helping you drive smarter on the road. Today we're taking things a step further by reminding drivers in 5 major US cities (Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C.) to slow down and to be cautious when approaching intersections that data has determined have the greatest incidence of collisions or injuries.

This analysis is based upon Waze data and data received from The City of Boston, City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), New York Police Department, San Francisco Department of Public Health and the District Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C.

The types of data we received examine intersections with:
  • High collision rates
  • High injury rates
  • Vehicle to vehicle incidents
  • Vehicle to bike incidents
  • Vehicle to pedestrian incidents
It truly is an exciting time when technology, municipalities and every-day people can work together seamlessly to make cities a safer place. We're hopeful that data goes on to show fewer collisions and injuries at these intersections in the months and years to come.

12 Useful Summer Driving Tips

The sun is shining, the heat is blaring and summer is in full swing! Our goal at Waze is to be your ultimate driving companion which is why we asked our Facebook fans for their best tips for summer driving. You might want to keep these in mind the next time you want to stay cool in the car.

1. Choose alternate travel times if possible. You’ll be a lot cooler driving in the early morning or around dusk.

2. It never hurts to take a friend and be close to the water. 

Photo Credit: Gail Smith Vance

3. Bring a water bottle, give yourself enough time and drive safe. It's better to arrive a few minutes late than not at all.

4. Feeling fancy? Try renting a convertible! (Don't forget the sunscreen).

Photo credit : David Adams

5. Always be on the lookout for fun and unexpected sights. (This is nuts). 

Photo Credit: Winnie Carlsen Milner

6. Keep your tires inflated. Hot weather and highway driving can lead to dangerous blowouts.

7. Drop the rear windows down two inches when hot and keep front ones up. This effectively creates a turbine, drawing hot air into the back, expelling it and replacing it with cooler air from outside.

8 Always have water with you. Both for your radiator and for you.

9. Park in the shade if at all possible. It's worth walking a little farther to get that shady parking space.

10. Nothing says a summer drive like great music and taking the scenic route.

11. Of course, you should never leave your driveway without Waze! 

Photo Credit Samantha Tonak

12. Finally, for the best summer driving experience, be sure to use Rusty Griswold's voice to get you there! Head to Sound > Settings > Voice > Rusty Griswold

Carpooling in Gush Dan? Join The RideWith Pilot!

Calling all Israeli Wazers who commute in Gush Dan - we need your help! Read on for a fun opportunity to try RideWith, our new carpool pilot.

Powered by the Waze community, RideWith is an easy way to connect with people who have similar commutes, so you can ride together on the fastest route.

How Does It Work?

This is a limited trial for Android users who commute in the Gush Dan region of Israel. Available only during standard rush hour times, RideWith helps connect drivers and potential riders -- such as neighbors on similar commute routes or co-workers who live near each other. Drivers can opt-in to the service via the Waze app, and riders need to download the new RideWith app (available from the Google Play Store).

A heads up: RideWith requires the right amount of drivers and riders in a certain area, so this opportunity may not be immediately available to you. Please be patient with us! We know your commuting time is valuable; once you install RideWith we will gradually unlock service (and ride requests within Waze) user by user when we believe we can provide quality service along your route.

What Does It Cost?

Riders pitch-in on the cost of gas and wear and tear on a vehicle by reimbursing the driver via the app when the ride is complete. RideWith will calculate the cost of gas and depreciation based on route mileage* and suggest an amount. The driver can then accept or decline the ride and rate.

Why Carpool?

Carpooling can help reduce travel and fuel costs, the number of cars on the road, strain on the environment and parking stress. Plus, time flies when you have someone to talk to! Yet carpooling can be a hassle and difficult to manage. With deep local traffic insight and a large, passionate community, Waze has developed RideWith to serve Israeli commuters at their greatest time of need: rush hour. We hope to learn a lot from this pilot and will let you know how it goes.

To learn more visit:

Happy commuting!

*The rate per kilometer of gas and depreciation is less than, or equal to, the shekels per kilometer recommended by Heshev. Heshev provides formal recommendations for fuel rates for corporate reimbursement in Israel. A nominal Waze commission is included in the proposed rate.