The Los Angeles area has a terrible reputation with drivers because of the amount of traffic that is present. If you are visiting Southern California for the first time, you might be too intimidated to attempt to drive, but you should know that it is manageable if you are smart about it. Just like driving anywhere else, you can make it through Southern California’s traffic if you are aware of your surroundings and follow the rules of the road.
Before leaving your hotel in the morning, prepare yourself for the absolute worst. This does not necessarily mean that traffic will be horrible for your entire stay, but leaving early and being aware that you might end up stuck in traffic can help to limit your frustration. Do not rush to get anywhere and enjoy the scenery along the way to maximize your experience in this beautiful part of the world. You can further prepare yourself by listening to a news radio station before leaving your hotel. That way, you will be aware of any road closures or accidents that might slow you down.
Plan Your Journey
It is very difficult to avoid traffic completely, but you can avoid traffic during less busy times of the day. For example, some will say that Los Angeles rush hour last between 4 AM and 8 PM, but there are breaks during the day that will allow you to travel more freely. For example, traffic tends to die down between 10 a.m. and noon, making this a good window in which to drive. Make sure that you have a GPS on board, so that you do not waste time trying to figure out which turns to make as you attempt to beat the traffic.
Choose a Lane
Your lane selection can make your trip much easier. Many of the freeways in Southern California are between six and eight lanes, so you will want to begin changing lanes well before your exit. You should also know that there are a number of exit only lanes on the right hand side of these freeways and that people drive extremely fast in the left hand lanes. Therefore, it is best to stick to the middle lanes until you need to get off the freeway, at which time you can begin moving over in your desired direction.
Be Ready to Brake
Traffic can stop at any moment, so do not get too comfortable with the speed that you are going. A traffic jam or an accident could occur miles ahead of you and the chain reaction could lead to you having to slam on your brakes at a moment’s notice. Do not tailgate the vehicle in front of you and give yourself plenty of time to stop if the flow of traffic comes to a rapid halt. This is especially true if it starts to rain, as you are much more likely to end up in a gridlock when it is wet outside.
Southern California is very spread out so use of public transportation depends on your destination. You can take the subway between downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood or take the bus out to Santa Monica, which provides you with a break from the traffic and allows you to relax with your vision stardust clearomizer. If you want to visit some of the theme parks that are found in Anaheim or head to Long Beach for some seafood, public transportation is not your best option. In this situation, you are better off driving because it will save you time and money while you visit all of the region’s attractions.