Waze is owned by Google these days, but the way it handles navigation is quite different from the Maps app. For example, users can report accidents, speed traps, and other road conditions that affect the directions given to other Wazers. Today, the app is adding yet another quirky and potentially very useful routing feature. Users in LA will be able to get directions that help them avoid "difficult intersections."

The difficult intersections Waze is talking about are those with no signal where you have to make a left turn onto a busy street. Apparently that's very common in LA; it's gotten to the point that such intersections are much more dangerous for drivers and pedestrians alike. Skipping these intersections altogether also makes for a less stressful drive. When the feature is enabled, Waze will direct drivers around these intersections to places that have signals or where they can make a few safer right turns instead. This might add a bit of time to the journey, depending on where and how many difficult intersections are along your path. Additionally, it might not be possible to avoid all such intersections.

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This feature is enabled by default in Waze for LA residents, so make sure you shut that off if you like to live dangerously. Waze plans to roll the dangerous intersections toggle out to New Orleans soon as well. Other cities will get support as "identified by the Waze community."