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Navigation apps are a fiercely debated topic. Many people have plenty of thoughts on the subject. However, if one of them were able to predict car crashes, I’d argue that would be the end of the discussion. Well, a video on Reddit shows what looks like Waze predicting a car crash in front of a driver moments before it happened. Is Waze magic

A white truck following a FedEx truck before hitting it. Waze app seemed to predict the crash.
Dashcam footage before car crash | ThatEngineerWithTheGlasses

Waze navigation app seems to predict a car crash

Dashcam footage uploaded to Reddit shows a white truck merging onto a crowded highway. The truck in question is closely following a FedEx truck for a few moments when the filmer’s Waze app says, “crash reported ahead.” Within seconds of the announcement, the white pickup truck rear-ends the FedEx truck

The crash was fairly low speed, and the driver of the white pickup truck seemed to be too busy to be bothered by the collision. As traffic begins to pick back up, the white truck hits the blinker and casually leaves the scene. The disappearance only adds to the strangeness of the video. 

Context clears up confusing Waze video

Without context, this video is really compelling. For those of us hoping for an “X-Files” moment, unfortunately, there is a good explanation for the Nostradamus navigation. 

According to CarScoops, while the owner of the dashcam would surely love to have the magic Waze app, he confirmed that there was another crash off-camera that happened before the video began. Waze was simply warning the driver of this crash moments before another crash happened. While predicting the future would be pretty cool, the likely hood of an app warning you of a different car crash while another one happens is pretty slim odds. 

This video might not prove time travel exists, but it does prove something else

Bay Bridge crash
Tesla SF Bay Bridge crash | CHP

NHTSA reporting shows a dramatic increase in roadway deaths over the past two years. However, toward the end of 2022, reports show that roadway deaths mercifully began to level off. 

Even still, we are sitting on top of a steep graph showing that driving is getting increasingly dangerous. On one hand, this feels strange, considering how much safer our cars have gotten. However, our cars can only do so much. The people behind the wheel still have the responsibility to pay attention and make good decisions. 

We have also increased the amount we drive during and since COVID. The NHSTA says, “Americans continue to drive more than during the height of the pandemic, with preliminary Federal Highway Administration data showing a 1.6% increase in vehicle miles traveled, or about 39 billion miles. As a result, the estimated fatality rate for the first nine months of 2022 decreased to 1.30 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, down from the projected rate of 1.32 fatalities during the same time in 2021.” 

This is a simple math problem. The more time we spend in our cars, the better chance we have of being in a crash. The truth is, this video looks pretty miraculous. Then, once we learn the explanation, it still feels insanely improbable. Lastly, you realize how often we crash our cars into stuff, then it comes all the way around as just another video that doesn’t mean much other than proving that we really suck at driving.