How to check the traffic around you on Google Maps in 2 ways, so that you know which routes to avoid

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business InsiderYou can check out the current traffic levels for roads near you using Google Maps.
  • To check traffic on Google Maps, you can turn on the traffic overlay.
  • Not all streets or locales on Google Maps have traffic data, so this overlay might not work everywhere.
  • When you map out directions via car, you’ll automatically see the traffic levels along that route.
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Google Maps is one of the most popular apps in the world, and for good reason — it works very well.

Not every feature is equally easy to find, though. Google Maps lets you see the traffic levels around you, for example, but this feature is somewhat hidden.

In many cities, Google will display current traffic levels with a colour-coded system — green represents light traffic, yellow is moderate, orange is heavy, and red is severe levels of traffic.

While you’ll see the traffic along a planned route automatically when you plan a trip via car to a specific destination, that colour coding doesn’t extend to streets not on your route. But there’s an “overlay” available in Google Maps in which you can see these traffic levels everywhere.

How to check traffic on the Google Maps mobile app

1. Start the Google Maps app on your phone.

2. Tap the Overlay icon. It’s shaped like a stack of squares and can be found near the top-right of the map, under the quick links.

3. In the Map Details section of the pop-up, tap “Traffic.”

How to check traffic on Google Maps 3Dave Johnson/Business InsiderUsing the mobile app, you can enable the traffic view from the Overlay icon.

The traffic overlay will appear; any roads that have traffic information will appear colour-coded in green, yellow, orange and red to indicate increasing levels of traffic. If you don’t see anything, traffic data isn’t available, or your internet connection might not be fast enough.

How to check traffic on Google Maps 1Dave Johnson/Business InsiderIf you turn on the traffic overlay, you can see the current traffic levels on streets and highways throughout your city.

How to check traffic on Google Maps in a web browser

1. In a web browser, open Google Maps.

2. Click the hamburger menu (the three lines at the top-left of the screen) to see the menu.

3. Click “Traffic.”

How to check traffic on Google Maps 2Dave Johnson/Business InsiderYou can enable the traffic overlay from the menu in a web browser.

The traffic overlay will appear; any roads that have traffic information will appear colour-coded in green, yellow, orange, and red to indicate increasing levels of traffic. If you don’t see anything, traffic data isn’t available.

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