August 29, 2012

Avoid Traffic for Labor Day

A lot of people are going to finish off the summer season with a long weekend. Traffic is supposed to be heavy starting as early as Friday Morning. For many, that might mean sitting in traffic for a few hours - here are a few tips to help you avoid the mess:

Smartphones

1) Inrix Traffic App - It's free and it's backed by a powerful network of data feeds. I think it's accurate, but sometimes lags in picking up dynamically forming traffic jams. It's free and a must-have for a smartphone - available for iPhone, Android, BB, and Windows 8 - start at InrixTraffic

2) Waze - "Outsmarting Traffic Together" is their logo, need I say more? I like the fact that you can get earlier updates of fast forming traffic issues because of the user inputs. That means though that you need to have users ahead of you leaving you alerts that traffic is bad. Waze also has an underlying color-coded map for traffic issues. Its also a decent navigation App - I like it because people also alert you to speed traps! I use it in conjunction with Inrix - available for iPhone and Android - start at the Waze Website

3) TomTom Navigation with Traffic Subscription - It you're serious about smartphone navigation and traffic in one, bite off on TomTom navigation and upgrade to their HD Traffic for an additional $25. They alert to traffic along your route and then re-route you around it if possible. Save money by buying a regional product that only gives you what you need. Available for the iPhone - Start at the TomTom Website

Standalone GPS Devices

A lot of devices talk about good traffic, but you need to have a connected one to get good traffic data and insight into what the issue is. The old "TMC" traffic doesn't get a lot of resolution into events and only updates slowly. It's OK to get you alerted to an issue, but you can't easily pinpoint the issues and the severity of things. These are typically sold as "lifetime Traffic" models.

TomTom Live Models - I recommend any TomTom Live product that has HD Traffic - this is the big boy of traffic in a GPS, with feeds over the cellular network. They are a little more expensive, but come with some great connected goodies. The TomTom GO LIVE 2535M is a good example.

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Posted by Scott Martin at August 29, 2012 6:57 AM

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