Google Maps Traffic Color Legend

Perhaps you’re curious as to what each of the different colours on Google Maps’ traffic indicators means.

Despite its apparent simplicity and obviousness, the response may come as a shock.

Keep reading to find out more…

Google Maps Traffic Color Legend: Written & Visualized

A road’s speed is represented by a specific colour code, which serves as a visual aid for drivers.

The following are the authorised hues, as specified by Google themselves:

  • Green: No traffic delays.
  • Orange: Medium amount of traffic.
  • Red: Traffic delays. The darker the red, the slower the speed of traffic on the road.

According to Google Maps, the absence of traffic delays (green), the presence of some delays (orange), and severe delays (red) are indicated. A deeper shade of red indicates even slower moving traffic or complete stops.

What Does Orange Mean on Google Maps?

The orange signal indicates a moderate level of traffic, but not enough to trigger the red warning.

In most cases, traffic will only moderately slow your journey.

What does Red on Google Maps Mean?

When you see red, it means there will be delays on your route. The deeper the red, the slower the flow of traffic.

If the light is extremely red (which can be mistaken for brown), it may be safe to assume that traffic is at a standstill.

How is the Traffic color Legend calculated?

In order to determine the traffic colour legend, a combination of crowdsourced information, historical records, and traffic data captured by government-owned infrastructure (such as cameras and sensors) is used.

The more people who use Google Maps and Waze (Owned by Google) for navigation, the more accurate traffic information can be.

Google Maps Traffic Color Legend - New York
Google Maps Traffic Color Legend – New York

If you’re keeping an eye on the traffic lights along the highway, you’ll know that green means cars are going at least 50 miles per hour.

When you see orange lines, it means the speed limit has been reduced to between 25 and 50 miles per hour.

When cars are moving at less than 25 miles per hour, they are below the red line.

Furthermore, a deep red colour denotes a complete lack of movement in the roadway. Another possible interpretation is that there was a traffic accident or incident.

The route line will be greyed out if no traffic information is available.

In addition to being displayed on the time perimeter, the colours will also indicate which routes are available.

The absence of red indicates light traffic, while orange indicates moderate traffic.

TIP: While Google maps is very accurate, it is not always 100% correct. This can be especially true in rural areas where less crowdsourced data is available. 

Google Maps Traffic Color Legend: Color Codes

In case your interested, here are the traffic colors and their corresponding hex color codes:

  • Green: #87cb54
  • Orange: #f07d02
  • Red: #e60000
  • Dark Red: #9e1313 

Our article on Google Maps’ optimal settings for use with Apple Carplay can help you get the most out of the app while driving.

Frequently Asked Questions

Google Maps Time Remaining Color Meaning?

A colour on the drive time/remain time scale suggests the potential severity of traffic on your route.

If the light ahead of you is orange, for instance, that means there is a possibility of a short wait or slower traffic ahead.

Warning of heavy traffic ahead is indicated by a red light.

What does Google Maps Traffic Colors Brown Mean?

Traffic on Google Maps is never depicted in brown. Although, in poor lighting, dark red can be mistaken for brown.

Heavy, often-idling traffic is represented by the dark red.

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