Google offers mapping, traffic conditions for mobile phone users

| 7/25/2006

As if the combination of four-wheelers and cell phones weren’t already dangerous enough, drivers now have a new reason to be distracted by the ever-present devices while they’re behind the wheel.

On Tuesday, July 25, Google Inc. – best known for its Internet search service – launched Google Maps for Mobile, a cell phone-based version of its popular online mapping software.

According to a Google press release, users who download the program onto their phones will not only have access to maps of the entire country – they’ll also be able to check out real-time traffic patterns in more than 30 major U.S. cities, which will be indicated by red, yellow and green colors on the maps, depending on the level of congestion.

While keeping drivers from getting lost – and, consequently, driving erratically – isn’t a bad thing, the thought of four-wheelers forgoing another one of their senses while they squint at their miniscule cell phone screens just sounds like one more accident waiting to happen.