How to Report Road Accidents on Apple Maps
Google may own Waze, but we’re finally starting to see some of the features popularized by this vehicle tracking app start competing with Apple Maps. For example, you can now – or soon will be able – to report traffic incidents in Maps while you travel. So are the speed traps in case you spot someone driving through one of those gruesome little towns that lowers the speed limit from 70 mph to 30 mph in the hopes that they can suck up some nice cash from your road fund.
I say “coming soon” as you will find these features in iOS 14.5, which is not yet available to the general public in either beta or full, but you can sign up for a developer beta to try these features. (and others) at the present time. As always, the usual caveats apply: developer beta stability is not guaranteed, so make sure you back up your phone, back up your data regularly, and know a few simple tricks (like how to turn your iPhone on and off). to try if you run into any problem.
Once you’ve installed the developer beta, open Apple Maps and enter your destination. Launch driving directions and start your journey. If you encounter a traffic accident or speed trap along your route, please report it by clicking the drop-down menu at the bottom of the screen, which usually indicates where you are going and how long it will take to get there.
Among the various options, including the always useful Share ETA, you’ll see a new Complain button.
Tap it and you can report one of three issues: crash, road hazard, or speed checks.
I should point out that you don’t actually need to do any tapping if you don’t want to. This reporting feature works with Siri, so if you say “Siri, there’s an accident ahead,” for example while driving, your digital assistant will send a report on your behalf. It’s much safer than fiddling with your iPhone while everyone else is chatting.
It’s unclear what actually causes these reports to appear on Apple Maps. I am guessing that several people will need to complete the report in order for it to appear on your route in some way. The meager few reports I’ve done so far have done nothing yet – haven’t even created an icon on my own driving route – which I suppose makes sense. What’s so great about reporting an accident after you’ve driven it?
There’s also the fact that this feature is still in beta, so it’s unclear how its final presentation will be implemented in iOS 14.5. In any case, this is how you will find it when it becomes available to you. Get ready to start shooting records to help fellow travelers take more efficient trips (when we all start actually taking trips again).