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Traffic Los Angeles - How to Deal with Los Angeles Traffic - Tips for Driving in Los Angeles Traffic

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It has long been known that Los Angeles traffic conditions are the worst of any city in the United States. A new study again confirms what everyone else knows, but they have given it a nifty new name. The International Commuter Pain Survey was officially released in the summer of 2010 and Los Angeles tops off the list of U.S. cities with an index of 25. By comparison, New York has a 19 and Houston is third with 17. While this does not compare to the likes of such cities as Beijing, China (99), Mexico City, Mexico (99), or Johannesburg, South Africa (97), it is quite more than most Americans are able to comfortably put up with.

Tips for Driving in Los Angeles Traffic

Drivers who are new to the traffic in Los Angeles will no doubt find themselves frustrated at some point, usually sooner than later. It takes some time to get used to Los Angeles driving. The first thing you will need to help ease your pain is a good street map or a navigation system. If you ever find it necessary to go off your route in order to avoid the traffic, one of these two items will be invaluable in reaching your destination.

If you have an important meeting or need to make an appointment to somewhere you have never been before, it is recommended to take a practice trip from the same starting point to your destination. This will help you to familiarize yourself with the route and the nuances of Los Angeles traffic. If possible, go around the same time of day as your actual appointment. This can help you judge the time it will take. Computerized time predictions mean very little in Los Angeles traffic.

Plan an alternate route in case of a Los Angeles traffic emergency. A single-lane blocked from an accident can mean an hour or more time being added to the trip. The good part about Los Angeles is that there are plenty of alternative routes. Of course, each of them will be in a traffic jam during rush hour, but some jams are worse than others.

If you are driving on the city streets instead of the freeway, Los Angeles traffic can be a little more forgiving. The problem here is that there are a lot of stop lights that will slow down travel quite a bit. Also, Los Angeles has decided dedicated left-turn lights are not necessary, so three to four cars will be making left-hand turns at many intersections after the light has turned red.
Always try to stay calm and cool while driving. Your car radio can play two important roles. The first role is that traffic updates are provided regularly on most of the local stations. The second role is that the music will give you something to do while the Los Angeles traffic is at a crawl.

Alternative Routes to Avoid Los Angeles Traffic

A lot of the worst traffic in Los Angeles is on the freeways. Sometimes it is much quicker to bypass the freeways and take an alternative route on the regular city street grid. Here are some good alternative routes to try when traffic is just too much to handle:

From I-10 – “The 10” as it is called by locals is the major east-west route in Los Angeles. Near downtown, driving can be hectic. Instead try one of these three streets: Olympic, Pico, or Venice.

From I-405 – “The 405” is the most-used freeway for north-south travel. It is used by commuters to get to and from the suburbs. Although the lanes are numerous, traffic is often stop and go. Try these alternatives for north and south travel: La Cienega, Crescent Heights, and Lincoln.

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