Latest Waze Navigation Feature Minimizes Left Turns Into High Traffic Areas To Reduce Accidents

Do you get nervous and start sweating bullets when you have to make a left-hand turn at a busy intersection with no stop light? The scenario is a little more common in big and busy cities like Los Angeles, and to make commutes a little less stressful for drivers, Waze created a new routing feature that bypasses intersections altogether when possible.

The feature is rolling out first to to L.A., one of the busier and more crowded places in the U.S. to drive, particularly during rush hour. To identify the intersections that are most troublesome to drivers, Waze said it worked closely with the local map editor and employee community.

Waze Intersection

"They shared lists of what they perceived to be the most difficult intersections and provided alternate solutions. We also received a tremendous amount of support from our Connected Citizens Program partner, the City of Los Angeles, who helped us understand this hyperlocal challenge from a municipal perspective," Waze stated in a blog post.

The obvious concern with rerouting directions to avoid intersections is the potential for a longer ETA. Waze said it balanced an efficient ETA with limiting as many difficult intersections as possible, and by default the navigation software will calculate the best possible route that bypasses them. However, if avoiding a particularly intersection would result in a significantly longer commute, Waze will have the driver tough it out and face their fear of turning left.

"The goal of the feature is to reduce the amount of these intersections, not completely eliminate them. The Difficult Intersections setting is automatically enabled for LA drivers; however Wazers who prefer to drive through all intersections can easily disable the feature in Settings," Waze added.

While L.A. gets first crack at the new feature, Waze will expand it to New Orleans soon, followed by a global roll out as needed..