NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Back in early October, I wrote an article -- The Apple 'MappleGate' Tragedy Nobody Wants to Talk About -- that fell through the cracks. This happens from time to time. Usually, I don't follow up. You know, you're only as good as your last at-bat.Anyhow, a few months later, with MappleGate out of the headlines and the private startup navigation app Waze a better-known entity, it's probably worth another crack. Plus, I think I raise an important issue. In fact, I would feel slightly guilty, after my experience with Waze, if I didn't raise red flags.
For real. Are they serious? And why hasn't anybody with an audience that I know of brought this up yet? Those buttons that ask you to report traffic jams, police sightings, accidents, hazards and such. They're, at least in my experience, a fender bender or life-changing accident waiting to happen. Don't take my word for it, but, please, do not try it either. I, here and now, exonerate myself from responsibility for anything bad that ends up happening to you. Just head over to distracteddriving.gov and consume the research. Or check out how Waze sets things up while stationary and not in an ignited motor vehicle. If I want to report a "hazard," I click on the hazard icon. I can report a hazard on the road, on the shoulder or just notify fellow Wazers of the mere presence of "weather." I can even snap a photograph of the hazard! Really. This is a joke, right?
No, it's all too real. You simply cannot make this stuff up. If you report a hazard using Waze, please, I implore you, report yourself as "Distracted idiot driver using this shockingly stupid app while attempting to operate a two-ton motor vehicle. Be-freaking-ware!" When I used Waze, I almost got into several accidents. It put me into another world. I arrived at my destination in one piece and, honestly, it reminded me of those absurdly irresponsible younger days when I drove drunk and wondered how in the world I got home. We probably shouldn't even have a smartphone in the car with us. Even seemingly innocuous apps such as Apple and Google (GOOG) Maps should probably be off limits. But, far and away, Waze is the worst offender I have ever seen. Consider it the Lance Armstrong of apps. And every other app just a random doped-up professional cyclist. Waze can argue that it's about personal responsibility. If they use that defense, it's a lame one. Don't bring up apps such as Twitter and Facebook (FB). They're not designed for use and extreme exhibitions of social interaction while driving. That's what Waze is, by and large, all about. The turn-by-turn directions, at least in my experience, become background noise. Cycling app Strava has already come under fire for allegedly causing death. It's only a matter of time before the same thing happens to Waze. Apple should want no part of that mess. Tim Cook needs that like he needs a hole in his head. Follow @rocco_thestreet --Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.