Winter can be brutal for commutes. Between the snow, ice, wind, and rain you're almost guaranteed to run into unfavorable road conditions while you're out and about. Waze seems to have noticed this, as a new feature was just announced: snow warnings for the app, which include reporting unplowed roads and ice that's present on the route.

Drivers who notice roads that have slick surfaces or have yet to be plowed can use the app's hazard reporting to warn other users. The warnings will appear in the driving directions just like the already-existing construction and accident reporting, giving users time to prepare for the dicey (and icy) conditions.

Waze's new ice-hazard reporting in action, pictured on iOS because that's what Waze had.

Google has been stepping up its own efforts to introduce more user-reported incidents on Maps, but Waze is still ahead of the game by giving commuters in winter-ravaged cities the ability to warn each other about slippery and dangerous roads. Hopefully the initiative being taken by Waze to allow commuters to report road conditions will be noticed and incorporated by other navigation apps soon.

You can view the new reporting feature by opening the Hazards panel in Waze and touching Weather. If you don't have it yet, you can pick up Waze now in the Play Store.

Press Release

Waze Launches Snow Warning Feature Ahead of Winter Season
Ability to Report Unplowed Roads Now Available Thanks to Partnership With The Virginia Department of Transportation

RICHMOND, VA — DECEMBER 10, 2019 — Waze, the platform bringing together communities on and off the road, today announced the launch a new feature to help keep drivers safe during winter weather. Waze users globally will now be able to report, in real-time, when a road has not been plowed, and will be kept informed when they are approaching a road that has already been identified by other drivers as unplowed.

The launch of this feature is a direct result of Waze’s work with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), a Waze for Cities Data partner. With the winter season approaching, VDOT suggested that Waze create the option to better highlight snow on the road within the app. The feature will offer the Waze community of over 130 million monthly users the opportunity to be better prepared for hazardous winter weather conditions.

“One of the primary reasons we created the Waze for Cities Data program was to provide public agencies with data and insights to reduce traffic and improve the safety of their roadways,” said Dani Simons, Head of Public Sector Partnerships at Waze. “Our work with the Virginia Department of Transportation on the development of the ‘Unplowed Road’ feature perfectly exemplifies what can be accomplished when we collaborate with public sector partners to meet community needs.”

As a Waze for Cities Data partner, VDOT plans to monitor reports coming in from Wazers, and those who are simply shoveling their driveways and sidewalks, this winter and determine how they can incorporate this data into their operations for the following winter.

“At VDOT, our people are constantly exploring innovations and new technologies with the ultimate goal of providing the best service to the residents of the Commonwealth and all those who travel our roads,” said VDOT Chief Deputy Commissioner Rob Cary. “Many use crowdsourcing in their daily lives. We wanted to explore this method of information gathering to help improve safety and better assess the conditions of our roads during winter weather. We value our partnership with Waze, and look forward to monitoring the real-time reports on road conditions and determining how best to incorporate the data into our future operations.”

The new feature is now available in over 185 countries where Waze is accessible, and can be found under “Hazards -> Weather -> Unplowed Road.” The feature highlights Waze’s commitment to helping its community across the globe navigate traffic through all driving conditions more efficiently and safely.

Waze for Cities Data is part of the Waze for Cities program, where partners can also access Waze Beacons, Waze Carpool, and solutions for managing communications with drivers and traffic during crisis situations and other major events like marathons, football championships and large concerts.

To find out more about Waze for Cities, visit http://waze.com/wazeforcities. To download the free Waze app for iOS or Android, visit http://www.waze.com/get.