It’s no secret that driving in Los Angeles is often a challenge. From congested freeways to aggressive motorists, L.A. drivers face many potential hazards every day. Knowing how to deal with these inconveniences won’t just make your drive more peaceful, it can also help you avoid dangerous accidents. Before you hit the road again, check out these five smart driving tips.
The city of Los Angeles has the “honor” of being the most congested city in the entire world. It’s also been named one of the world’s worst cities to drive in for six consecutive years. That being said, if you’re going to drive in L.A., you need to expect congestion.
It’s not uncommon to run into traffic jams for seemingly no reason. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination so you don’t have to rush. Remember that there are also more pedestrians than many drivers are used to. Watch out for crosswalks, jaywalkers, and people getting in and out of parked cars. Patience and awareness will go a long way towards ensuring the safety of you and the people around you.
Avoid Rush Hour
While you can’t avoid all traffic in L.A., you can avoid high-traffic areas and rush hours. Doing so will help you get to where you need to go faster. You’re also less likely to get in a collision, simply because there are fewer cars on the road.
In general, it’s best to avoid driving between 7 and 9 in the morning and 4 to 6 in the evening. If you’re not super comfortable with L.A. driving, it’s also better to stay on the surface streets if possible. Try to avoid the most notoriously busy freeways including the 405 (San Diego Freeway), the 101 (Hollywood Freeway), the 110 (Harbor Freeway) and the 5 (Golden State Freeway)
Beware of the Rain & Smog
If you’re new to the area, it might surprise you to see how drivers react to the rain. L.A. drivers are notoriously bad at driving in the rain, and statistics show that the chance of a collision doubles or even triples when the skies open up.
As soon as a few drops start to fall, traffic inevitably slows down. When wet weather arrives, dig deep for your patience, use extra caution, and give other drivers more space than you usually would.
Put Down Your Phone
Distracted driving is never a good idea, and this is especially true when dealing with L.A. traffic. Never text and drive, and try to avoid using your phone to get directions while driving. Always make sure you know where you’re going before you hit the road, or pull over so you can safely look up directions.
Unfortunately, road rage isn’t rare in L.A. No matter what happens, it’s important to never initiate an aggressive driving situation. If another driver approaches you with aggression, don’t engage with them under any circumstances. Often, even trying to diffuse the situation can make it worse. Instead, lock your doors and leave the area as soon as you can.
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