If you’re driving in Los Angeles, you need to be aware of the unique dangers that come with LA traffic. LA drivers often have to contend with reckless drivers, gridlock, and a complex web of interconnecting freeways.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the things that LA drivers should look out for. We’ll also give some tips on how to stay safe while driving in LA.
- Reckless Drivers
One of the biggest dangers for LA drivers is reckless driving. Drivers in Los Angeles are often in a hurry, and they’ll do whatever it takes to get ahead.
This can lead to dangerous situations on the road. To stay safe, you need to be on the lookout for sporadic drivers and give them plenty of space.
- Carpool lanes
LA drivers should also be aware of the different traffic laws, like the HOV or Carpool lane, which is always on the far left of the freeway. Make sure you don’t find yourself cruising in this lane if you’re driving by yourself. The law states that two or more people need to be present in the vehicle in order to use the lane.
The Carpool lanes can become an inconvenience for travelers though, as they often turn into toll lanes for FasTrak pass holders. If you’re not sure where you’re going, it’s best to stay closer to the right.
- Heavy traffic
Another danger for LA drivers is gridlock. The traffic in Los Angeles can be very unpredictable, and it’s not uncommon for a freeway to become backed up during rush hour.
If you find yourself caught in gridlock, don’t try to force your way through. Instead, take some time to relax and wait for the traffic to clear up.
Another thing to be aware of is the construction that often takes place on LA roads. Sometimes lanes will be closed or there will be a reduced speed limit for an extended period of time.
Pay attention to these signs and follow the instructions closely, or you could end up with a ticket, or worse —in an accident.
If you ever find yourself in the aftermath of a traffic accident, you may need representation. You can read more about how to stay protected after a car accident in this article.
- Lane splitting
If you’ve never heard of lane splitting before, you might be surprised to learn that it’s completely legal in LA.
This means that motorcyclists can drive between lanes to get ahead of traffic, even (and especially) when there’s heavy traffic backed up. Just be sure to give them plenty of room, and watch out for lane changes.
If you decide to change lanes during heavy traffic make absolutely sure that you check the lane you’re moving into, and be extremely cautious if you know you have blind spots. The last thing you want is to hit a motorcyclist!
- Pedestrians and bicyclists
And finally, always keep an eye out for pedestrians and bicyclists. They have the right of way in Los Angeles, so make sure you’re always yielding to them. If you’re driving near a school or park, take extra caution and look out for children, pets, stray kites, and anything you might least expect to see in front of your vehicle.
- Use a GPS
If you’ve never driven in Los Angeles before, you’re in for a daunting experience if all you have to navigate with is an old fashioned marker and atlas. Make sure you use a GPS or smartphone to navigate your way around the city.
- Leave Early
Leave early and expect delays from everyday traffic conditions. The roads are congested with drivers, so don’t be surprised when you encounter bumper-to-bumper traffic during rush hour or on any given day of the week!
If you need more time out there than usual because of a recent accident (or even if it’s just raining), we recommend leaving earlier in order to get where you’re going safely —and not too late. (Google Maps is great for this purpose as well!)
- Avoid driving during rush hour
The best time of day to drive in Los Angeles is during off-peak hours when traffic is lighter. If possible, try to avoid driving during rush hour altogether. The morning rush starts at around seven am, and the evening rush begins at around four pm. If you can’t avoid driving during peak hours, make sure you give yourself plenty of extra time so you’re not rushing through your commute.
Driving in LA can be overwhelming for newbies. However, if you follow these tips and look both ways, you’ll be getting from point A to B with no trouble at all!