autoevolution

Driver Says He Ended Up on the Wrong Side of the Highway Due to Waze Directions

A 2020 Chevy Silverado pickup owner says he ended up driving the opposite direction on Routes 1&9 in New Jersey after following the navigation directions provided by the Google-owned mobile app Waze.
Waze screenshots showing local traffic signs and driving instructions in the app 8 photos
Waze traffic navigation appWaze traffic navigation appWaze traffic navigation appWaze traffic navigation appWaze traffic navigation appWaze traffic navigation appWaze traffic navigation app
The Silverado driver claims Waze told him to stay left on a fork close to the Newark Liberty International Airport, eventually causing a fatal wrong-way crash.

Punkaj Shama, the 30-year-old driver of a 2005 Honda Civic, was killed in the accident, the Elizabeth police confirmed.

By the looks of things, the pickup owner was driving with a suspended license. He was eventually ticketed for reckless driving, driving the wrong way, and driving while suspended, the police said.

Waze, on the other hand, has refused to comment on the story since an investigation is still underway, but the company said the application provided accurate driving directions. The Google-owned firm also provided screenshots to demonstrate that Waze does not advise drivers to stay left at the fork, as indicated by the Silverado driver.

Also, Google Street View screenshots provided by Waze to New Jersey 101.5 show the local traffic signs which require drivers to keep right at the fork.

While Waze is no stranger to incorrect navigation directions, the application doesn’t typically provide instructions that would send drivers on the wrong side of the highway.

It does, however, point drivers to the wrong destination, as a bunch of unlucky drivers who were trying to reach a resort in Atlantic City found out the hard way. Instead of pointing them to the Borgata Casino, Waze actually sent drivers to a New Jersey wildlife preserve, some 70 miles north of the resort.

Some of the drivers ended up on unpaved roads, eventually calling for assistance after their cars got stuck, with the police confirming they had to tow 10 different cars in just 5 days.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories