Google Maps Traffic Color Legend – The 4 Colors Explained

Google Maps Traffic Color Legend. Featured image

You may be interested in knowing the Google maps traffic color legend and what the different colors mean.

While it’s pretty straightforward and self-explanatory, the answer might surprise you.

So read on to learn more…

Google Maps Traffic Color Legend: Written & Visualized

The different traffic color codes indicate the speed of traffic on the road.

According to Google themselves, the official colors are as follows:

  • 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.
Google Maps Traffic Colors
Google Maps Traffic Colors

The Google maps traffic color legend means green has no traffic delays, orange medium traffic, and red means traffic delays. A darker red shows an even slower traffic speed or stationary vehicles.

What Does Orange Mean on Google Maps?

Orange stands for a Medium amount of traffic but no ensure to warrant a red.

Typically, your trip will be slightly slowed by traffic but still flowing.

What does Red on Google Maps Mean?

Red means that there are traffic delays on your route. The darker the color of the red, the slowing the traffic is moving.

A very dark red (sometimes mistaken as brown) can mean that traffic is stationary and not moving.

How is the Traffic color Legend calculated?

The traffic color legend is calculated through a mixture of crowdsourced, historical, and traffic data captured by infrastructure such as cameras and sensors, usually owned by governments.

With the increased amounts of people using Google maps and Waze (Owned by Google) as a navigation tools, the more data they can collect, the more accurate they can be with traffic information.

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

In terms of specific speeds relating to certain colors for highways, green means traffic is moving at least 50 miles per hour.

Orange lines mean the traffic is moving slower, approximately 25-50 miles per hour.

The dreaded red line means traffic moves at speeds less than 25 miles per hour.

There is also a dark red, which indicates that traffic is extremely slow or stationary. It can also suggest that there has been a traffic collision or incident.

If there is no traffic data, the route line will remain grey.

The colors will also be displayed in the time perimeter; as shown in the image above, the different routes are displayed in green and orange.

The green means no expected traffic delays, while the orange suggests this route will have a medium amount of 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 


If you are interested in learning more about Google maps, your should view our article on Google maps carplay settings to see how you can get the most out of the app while using it with Apple Carplay.

Frequently Asked Questions

Google Maps Time Remaining Color Meaning?

When you see a color on the drive time/remain time, this indicates the level of traffic that may be ahead of you.

For instance, orange would mean there is likely a slight delay or slower traffic ahead of you. 

Red means there is significant traffic ahead of you. 

What does Google Maps Traffic Colors Brown Mean?

There is no brown color used in google maps traffic. However, dark red can be mistaken for brown, especially if the lighting is not good.

The dark red represents significant traffic which is often stationary. 

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