Waze's new feature bypasses those terrible left turns

The U.S. doesn't make adequate use of 'diamond' and other atypical intersections, and that means we're frequently faced with terribly difficult left turns — the kind where there's no traffic light, it's the middle of rush hour, and you have to make your way across a few lanes at best. Everyone has encountered these turns at times; you may even have given up on them, choosing to go right until you find somewhere you can turn left at a traffic light, having to take the time to backtrack to your original destination. With a new Waze update, that changes.

Left turns are particularly problematic in very large cities that haven't taken steps to eliminate them. Perhaps chief among them is Los Angeles, where users can now access a new feature in Waze called "Difficult Intersections." Turn it on and Waze will adjust the route to, when possible and sensible, take you away from those intersections and into more sensible (read: safe) routes.

The feature doesn't eliminate those intersections from the driving route — in some cases they're unavoidable, as there is either no alternative or the alternative is too ridiculously out of the way and time consuming to be feasible. Rather, Waze has added the feature to reduce the number of problematic intersections drivers encounter; Difficult Intersections is turned on by default now in Los Angeles, though drivers can disable it if they wish.

While the feature is only available in Los Angeles for now, Waze says it will also be made available in New Orleans soon. In time, the feature will be available for cities with problematic intersections around the world as determined by Waze users who identify them as unsafe or troublesome.