slice of life · technology · travel

Why I Detest Waze

I like Apple Maps. It synchs with my calendar. The user interface is simple. It provides me with alerts when there’s a faster route. It’s perfect.

My husband, Marc, prefers Waze. He insists it finds the best route and saves him time.

But I detest Waze. I don’t like the gamified nature of it. When I’m driving, I don’t want to be prompted to press the screen to let others know if there’s still detritus on the road or a police officer looking for speeders. My hands — and everyone else’s — need to be on the steering wheel and my eyes — and everyone else’s — need to be on the road!

Marc doesn’t think this photo shows how grumpy I was. I guess he caught me at a better moment.

Marc insists one doesn’t have to engage with the pop ups, but the very nature of them distracts me. Quite frankly, I think there’s too much happening on the screen — and with the navigation voice. (More on that later.)

On the way up to my in-laws’ house, Marc told me he needed me to drive a little before 1 p.m. since he needed to attend a virtual meeting. Given the time and where we’d be at 1 p.m., I wasn’t thrilled. I knew I’d be driving through Northern NJ, as well as Rockland and Westchester Counties. Of course, I would “need” to use Waze because I’d be driving over the Tappan Zee Bridge. (Don’t come at me about the fact that that’s not the name anymore. It’ll always be the Tap, rather than the Mario Cuomo Bridge, to me.) Waze would give us the heads-up about potential traffic into Connecticut. In my husband’s mind, Waze is a necessity while driving in the NY Metropolitan Area.

I acquiesced and fired up the Waze app on my phone. (Truth: I had to download it again. I detest it so much that I deleted it from my iPhone.) And that began the most stressful 80 minutes of my day.

I got onto 287N at the point where it’s four lanes of traffic across. It was as if every maniac driver was out on the road. There were tailgaters, lane-changers who didn’t signal, and reckless drivers who dramatically zip from one side of the highway to the other without a care for other people’s lives.

To make matters worse, Waze felt the need to give me every freaking piece of information about our route whenever possible. Waze told me every possible thing I could do when exiting. Case in point: Look at the amount of directions on the screen!

📷: Marc took this while I was driving grumpily on 287.

“Take the right lane to I-87 South/NY State Thruway South/I-287 South/Mario Cuomo Bridge/New York City” is just too freaking much. Apple Maps would never overload me with info like that!

AND ANOTHER THING! I had to keep the kids quiet while dealing with all of this craziness. Seeing as that was about three hours into the trip, I had to make a deal. “If you are quiet while Daddy is on his call, then I’ll give you the iPad to share once he’s off.” They took the deal. By the grace of G-d, they were quiet.

The only positive of the whole driving experience today was listening to Handel’s Water Music softly while I drove.

Luckily, Marc got off of his call in Westchester County. I took the second exit to Hartsdale and got out of the car to change places with him. No way was I going to drive on the narrow lanes of Merritt Parkway with Waze!

Now I’m in the passenger seat. The kids are taking turns with the iPad. Marc is driving us on the Merritt Parkway. We are sitting in slow moving traffic. Not even Waze can help us get around this always-present traffic. Whatever. At least I can relax now.

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28 thoughts on “Why I Detest Waze

  1. Andre and I are on the road as I write, so I double-checked: we don’t think we have Waze in Canada. Just as well – one less thing for us to “fight” about as we drive.

  2. We used to be Waze people. But then it didn’t know places as well as it knew roads (if that makes sense…). So we are Google Maps people tried and true now. What an interesting thing to have a preference for….because I know GPS is something that all people use but don’t talk about…thanks for the slice inspiration. Safe travels.

  3. I understand your frustration! My family members all love Waze. My daughter and her husband even somehow turned the voice into their own so we get to hear Eric say, “Oh s- -t, cop ahead!.” I want so much to like it but every time I try I can’t hear the directions. I am a serious driver and can’t constantly look at the phone. I keep trying…maybe one day. Glad you got to switch seats and relax for part of the ride!

  4. I know all those crazy roads you describe and have driven them a zillion times in unreal traffic. yet, I hate the business of Waze. I use and have great faith in Google Maps. Yet, I still have the Waze App and I will confess to using it when I am stuck, standing still on 287 or the West Side Highway and cannot figure out why! Hope your trip home is easier.

  5. Also, many NJ roads were fashioned from cow paths . . . at least where I got my drivers license at age 17 (as opposed to 16 elsewhere) due to the stressful driving conditions. I agree with your assessment of WAZE since I also heard a lot of “car pulled over on the side of the road” or something like that which I don’t remember exactly since I also removed this app from my phone. Thanks for sharing this stressful WAZE directed trip.

  6. Ha! I had to read this because I love waze. 🙂 I was laughing though because you are totally right – it gives way too much info on the screen!!!!

  7. I could relate to this! My husband hates Waze and it’s my ‘go to’. Interestingly Waze has taken me on some of the BEST shortcuts and the absolute WORST. But for some reason I am still loyal!

  8. I could hear your frustration and sense how tense you were! I do not like or use WAZE, but I do have some friends that swear by it. What a trip to make on a Friday! I hope your visit is restful. I am bummed that I did not realize today was Reunion Day at Teachers College and that you could participate virtually. Of course, I do not know if it was open to anyone. I loved the visits when Rose, Sue, and I would drive up on Friday night and stay in NYC until Sunday afternoon.

  9. We used to use Waze a lot, but my daughter talked us out of it. Too many notifications of nothing. She was commuting on 95 and getting better info from Apple Maps. I had to admit I liked it better. I’m not a Waze fan now. I’m with your unpopular opinion.

  10. It must be such a change to go from Lancaster County to West Chester/NY! Whenever we travel to the city I have to drive because my husband can’t tolerate it – navigation apps or not! I can sense your tension in the writing and I knew as soon as the meeting was over you’d put Mark back in the driver’s seat. Hope you enjoy your time in Connecticut!

  11. I don’t have Waze and from you describe I think it would stress me out. I’ll stick with the disembodied voice in my car that I argue with even though she doesn’t listen to me.

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