The weeks leading to Christmas have seen a steady surge of people heading to shopping malls. While the prospect of buying new stuff is exciting and even therapeutic, it’s the drive that all of us do not look forward to doing. According to our favorite navigation app Waze, Filipinos spend about five minutes just to crawl a single kilometer in heavy traffic. For those who have to travel, the Yuletide season isn’t really the most wonderful time of the year.
Thankfully, Waze is offering some tips and hacks on how to make the gridlock grind just a tad less taxing on the nerves.
1. Think ahead. The app has a Planned Drives functionality where you can view the predicted travel time to your destination depending on when you leave. While this isn’t exactly something that will let you avoid heavy traffic, it should at least give you a fighting chance of arriving at your appointment on time.
2. Match the app to your vehicle. We’ve always dreamed about transforming our big SUV into a motorcycle as we sit motionless in a sea of cars. But because our imagination doesn’t always agree with the laws of physics, it’s quite impossible to drag a beast of a 4×4 through a gap only wide enough for a scooter. Make sure you select the correct vehicle type on Waze so the time calculation is always accurate.
3. Ask for help. It is imperative that we be properly geared up for that congested drive to parties. But in the unfortunate event that your vehicle decides to play Grinch instead of Santa Claus, Waze offers roadside-assistance services that you can use, as well as discounts from fuel stations and restaurants.
4. Look for alternative routes. Waze is designed to pick what it thinks is the path of least resistance to your destination. But because everyone else might be driving the same route, it is best to check the other options offered by the app. This is way better than the Michael Schumacher wannabe in the back seat who keeps barking directions at you but falls asleep in traffic.
5. Care to share. Gone are the days when screaming “Are we there yet?” was the domain of children. You probably always receive persistent messages from the significant other or the boss asking where exactly you are. Shut them up by sharing your estimated time of arrival as predicted by Waze.
6. Change that boring GPS voice. For the longest time, we’ve all used that generic female voice as our guide on Waze. While she’s very helpful, she gets boring after a while. To make the journey a lot more cheerful, switch your Waze voice to something more amusing—like Mimiyuuuh’s. She can’t do anything about the traffic, but she’ll certainly entertain you with her ‘angelic’ voice. SKRRT!