How to Check Conditions Before a Road Trip

How to Check Conditions Before a Road Trip

Smart drivers regularly check in on weather and road conditions while traveling. While the unexpected does happen — like harsh winds or hail during a rainstorm — you can typically stay ahead of the worst by using a few handy apps. If you want to learn how to track weather on a road trip, these are the top apps to download before you hit the road. 

road with storm on the horizon

Waze

Many drivers opt to use this social navigation app over others because of its real-time traffic updates. Waze’s community members continually submit updates for fellow users on local road conditions such as accidents, slowdowns, and speed traps. You can also get updates on dangerous driving conditions, such as:

  • Flooding
  • High winds
  • Wildfires
  • Ice
  • Snow

If you want to check the weather for a road trip, Waze is a solid choice. Whether you’re approaching a road that remains unplowed, covered in ice, or filled with smoke, Waze will keep you informed.

Google Maps

Google Maps also updates users on road conditions and need-to-know information like traffic and slowdowns. You can preview your destination to find the fastest route using real-time conditions. You’ll also receive updates while en route if any delays or closures change your arrival time, whether it’s a crash or ongoing construction. If you choose, you can opt for an alternative route to save time. 

Google Maps comes pre-installed on many Android phones, and it’s also available for iPhone users. However, if you have Google Assistant enabled, you can ask, “What’s the weather on my road trip,” which is an excellent hands-free feature to have while driving. Google Maps also integrates with Siri on iPhones. 

Apple Maps

iPhones come preinstalled with Apple Maps, and it’s a very useful app. As with any GPS app, it provides users with multiple route options and can provide real-time updates on slowdowns, accidents, and road closures. Additionally, it will also indicate any road hazards that have been detected and reported. 

If you’re an Apple Watch user, you can get updates and directions through your watch as you drive, which is especially handy if you don’t have the phone mounted on your dashboard. 

Before you hit the road, make sure the ability to track weather conditions is enabled in Maps: 

  1. Go to settings.
  2. Go to Maps.
  3. Scroll down to the “Climate” section and make sure the “Weather Conditions” toggle is switched to the on position.

Apple Maps also seamlessly integrates with Siri, which means you can say, “Check road conditions for my trip,” and Siri will give you the latest updates. 

Hurricane: American Red Cross

Available on all devices, Hurricane: American Red Cross allows users to track a hurricane’s past and current location, as well as where it’s predicted to go. It’s great for travel, but it’s also a good app to have even if you’re not on the road because it gives step-by-step instructions on what to do before, during, and after a storm passes. 

Hurricane: American Red Cross doesn’t just track hurricanes — it can also provide updates on other storms, tornados, and floods in a given area. 

It also includes a feature that helps users notify friends and family that they’re safe. With the push of a button, “I’m safe” will post through email, text, Twitter, and Facebook. 

Tornado: American Red Cross

The Tornado: American Red Cross app is one of the best-rated apps for tornado notifications and is available in both English and Spanish. The app emits a siren noise from your phone if a tornado warning is issued in your locale. You’ll also get suggestions of actionable steps to take that will help you stay safe. And if the weather is severe, you can use the app to locate the closest Red Cross shelter. Just note that the tornado notifications will not come through your phone if it’s on silent or vibrate. But if you’re driving through a tornado-prone area, it may be a good idea to keep the app open with audible notifications. 

WeatherBug

WeatherBug is one of the most powerful weather apps you can use (and is also one of the most highly rated). With it, you can track weather anywhere in North America, including Hawaii. It provides real-time updates on:

  • Lightning
  • Rain storms
  • Hurricanes
  • Fires
  • Winter weather
  • Air quality
  • Wind speed
  • UV index
  • Traffic conditions
  • Pollen count

WeatherBug is available for both Android and iPhone users and is one of the easiest apps to use for checking the weather during a road trip.

Bottom Line

Checking weather conditions is just one of many considerations when planning your road trip. Instead of opting for a traditional rental car, use Avail for an easier experience. Car pick-up is fast and simple, plus insurance and 24/7 roadside assistance are included with every trip. That means you’ve got the coverage you need no matter what the weather or traffic looks like on your next road trip.