Driving in Los Angeles can be extremely stressful at times because the city is known for having some of the most congested and crowded roads in the country. There are also a lot of reckless drivers in the area and an above-average number of citations are issued annually in Los Angeles county due to the large population. These factors combine to make the LA area and Southern California in general one of the hardest regions to drive in, especially if you’ve never been there before. Luckily, you can make your job much easier by heeding the following five tips.
1. Avoid the Freeways
Taking the surface streets is generally going to be the safest way to travel, as the freeways and highways can be quite hectic. Fortunately, the city’s grid of back streets makes it easy enough to access most destinations without needing to take the freeway.
2. Have an Accident Lawyer on Standby
If you’re going to be living in the LA area, you need to be prepared for the possibility of experiencing a fender bender or worse. Even if you’re a good driver, with so many variables and so much traffic whizzing by you during your daily commute, there’s a chance that something could go wrong due to the actions of another driver or unforeseen mechanical problems. It’s always wise to contact a car accident lawyer if you’re hurt in an accident, as they can help you obtain optimal compensation.
3. Pay Attention to Pedestrians
Certain areas of the city have a dense concentration of pedestrians who will cross many streets freely, so watch your speed and pay attention to both sides of the road closely. You don’t want to accidentally run someone over while you’re adjusting to driving in the city.
4. Know Your Route Before Departure
In many places, you can easily depend on your smartphone’s GPS to give you voice guidance without any issue, but in LA taking that approach could prove to be difficult, especially on the freeway. By the time the GPS tells you what to do, you might not be able to get over in time. Thus, it’s best to view an overview of your route before departing so that you’ll know which signs to look for and which lanes you need to be in.
5. Plan for a Delay
Due to the likelihood of encountering a random traffic jam or congestion, it’s always wise to give yourself at least 10-20 minutes of leeway if punctuality is important. Many of the rushed and unsafe driving that happens on the city’s highways is done by commuters who are in a rush to get to work or make an important business meeting.
Choose Smarter Hours
Finally, one more tip that will help you avoid unpleasant driving experience in LA is to avoid rush hour altogether. Even if you’ll be getting off work at that time, consider hanging around the district you’re in until traffic clears up.