It’s always frustrating to get caught in a traffic jam because of a lane closure or because everyone is rubbernecking a recent fender bender. But even if you’re stuck, you can gain some karmic points and help others avoid the situation by reporting it via Apple Maps or Google Maps.
Your report on its own may not be enough to get a warning placed on the map, but if enough people make the same report — Apple calls it having “a high level of confidence” — then Apple or Google will probably take action and add an update. These reports can be made from inside the mobile apps and on Apple CarPlay — though, at the time of writing, this couldn’t be done through Android Auto.
Bear in mind that keeping yourself and your passengers safe is much more important than reporting incidents in Apple Maps or Google Maps. This job can be done via voice commands through Siri or Google Assistant, so I’d encourage you to take that option and keep your eyes on the road — or even better, get a passenger to make the report.
Reports in Apple Maps
Apple Maps lets you file a report regardless of whether you’re in navigation mode — presumably so you can flag incidents that you’re walking past or that you can see outside of your window. However, the process is different in each case.
In Apple Maps’ normal, non-navigation mode:
- Tap your Apple account picture to the right of the search box.
- Tap Reports, and you can see reports you’ve previously made.
- Find Report a New Issue at the bottom of the screen; then tap Report an Incident to file a new report.
- Pick from Crash, Hazard, or Speed Check (these options may vary by region).
- Specify the correct location for the incident. If you want, you can add some details or photos to help explain what the problem is.
- Tap Submit to register the report.
There are fewer steps if you’re driving and using Apple Maps in navigation mode. In addition, you don’t get the option to add text or photos or adjust the incident location.
- Tap the ETA bar under the map.
- Choose Report an Incident.
- Select Crash, Hazard, or Speed Check.
The report then gets sent to Apple, with no further input needed.
Reports can be made through Apple CarPlay on a car dashboard, too, either in or out of navigation mode.
- If you’re navigating, tap the ETA panel (lower right), then tap Report.
- If you’re not navigating, tap the blue speech bubble with an exclamation mark inside it on the left.
In all of these scenarios — app or CarPlay, navigating or not navigating — you can also use Siri to make your report, which may be easier and safer. The precise wording isn’t important as long as you make your point. The two examples Apple gives are “Hey Siri, report an accident” or “Hey Siri, there’s something in the road.”
If you see a report of an incident on Apple Maps, but when you pass it, there’s nothing there, you can tell Apple to clear it. Tap on the map marker in the app and choose Cleared, or tell Siri “The hazard is gone” or “Clear the accident.”
Reports in Google Maps
To file a report in Google Maps, you have to be using the mobile app for Android or iOS, and you have to be in navigation mode.
- Tap the report icon on the right (the plus symbol inside a speech bubble), or swipe up on the estimated journey time and tap Add a report.
- Pick from Crash, Mobile speed camera, Congestion, Roadworks, Lane closure, Stalled vehicle, or Object on road.
- If you’ve selected something in error, tap Undo before the timer runs out.
Nothing else is required, and you can’t add any other details to your report.
Google Assistant can be used, too, as long as you’re in navigation mode. Just say “Hey Google, report…” followed by the type of incident you want to report, and it gets logged by the app. Unlike with Apple Maps, you don’t get the option to clear incidents from the map.