Skip to main content

Waze rolls out crash history alerts for accident-prone roads

Waze rolls out crash history alerts for accident-prone roads


Google says it uses a combination of AI and user reports to determine if a route has a history of frequent accidents.

Share this story

A screenshot of the alert reads “History of crashes – next 1 mile”
Waze will warn you when a route is crash-prone.
Image: Waze

Waze has a new safety feature that launches an alert when drivers are coming up on a particularly crash-prone section of their route. Waze’s blog post says the feature, which has been in beta since last year, uses “historical crash data and key information about your route” like traffic levels or what kind of road it is to generate the warnings.

Seeing if a route is crash-prone means drivers can be more alert, or that seems to be Waze’s hope. A Google help page says the crash history alerts don’t distinguish between major and minor incidents, so knowing what you’re in for — and whether you should consider another route — might be hard. But alerts like this have to strike a balance between being informative and not becoming a distraction, so that makes sense.

Waze’s head of PR, Caroline Bourdeau, clarified to The Verge in an email that the warnings, which are based on community alerts, don’t take into account whether car accidents involve other vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists.

An animated GIF showing the crash history feature in action — an alert slides up from the bottom in a friendly white rectangle, reading “History of crashes – next 1 mile.”
The crash history feature in action.
Animation: Waze

Google has owned Waze for about a decade now, and that has yielded fruit for the Google Maps app as it siphons off some of Waze’s features, like incident reporting or a speedometer. It goes both ways, too, like the time Waze ported over Google Maps’ lane guidance.

In December last year, the company rolled the Waze team into Google’s Geo division, where Google Earth, Google Maps, and Street View reside, prior to laying some of them off a few months later. Waze says the feature is now available — I see it in Waze on my iOS and Android devices, but you can check for it by going to Settings > Alerts & Reports > Reports.