Traffic apps
The Waze icon, a Cal Road Report screen and the open road

Remember recently when the big, 405 shutdown didn't wreak havoc, but we all stayed home anyway?

Never again. Now, we really know if the roads are jammed or free-flowing by using new apps that provide instant intel on delays or accidents. Popular iPhone app Traffic View 2010 displays live feeds of scores of Caltrans cameras churning out images of freeways including the 10, 110,101 and, yes, the 405.

For Androids, Cal Road Report displays snapshots from Caltrans cameras, as well as California Highway Patrol reports. A map even lets you see how far you are from the closest freeway camera. Bonus: Surf cams are also accessed.

Waze is an even more sophisticated mobile app; It crowd sources users' driving time as they motor along with the app open, then shares this information--along with accidents, speed traps and more--with other Waze users. This elegant app's utility varies depending on how many drivers utilize it, but we're in luck in SoCal: A certain recent non-event inspired lots of new users.

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