LA Driving Tips

4:31 PM

I have to say it: I hate driving, and more importantly I hate driving in LA.

I don’t understand how people say that driving in calming. I’m pretty sure I’ve raised my blood pressure and overall anxiety levels by maneuvering through LA traffic. I was petrified the first time I started driving in LA. I would barely driving to Ralph's from my school (which was about a five minute drive). I would park far away just so that I didn’t park close to car and accidentally hit it. I was more than cautious; I was vigilant.

My current job has me driving. All. The. Time. I drive all around Beverly Hills, dodging tourists, struggling to find parking, and driving five miles per hour in congested construction zones. Since driving, I’ve learned a lot about how LA drives and I want to share some times with you all about how to drive in LA.

1. Avoid the right-most lane at all times

The right lane is not a place you want to be until you have to turn. The right lane is awful. There’s often cars parked there between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. (sometimes even when they’re not supposed to be) and you’ll have to merge back into the lane of through traffic and look like an asshole.

2. Yellow means speed up

If you stop on a yellow, you’re going to make drivers angry. In LA, a yellow light means speed up, not slow down. People even drive on red. It’s a crazy world out there.

3. Use the California stop

A California stop is illegal but wildly used. It’s basically a pause instead of a full stop and is dangerous. I don’t recommend using it, but beware of other drivers not bothering to full stop at a stop sign.

4. Let people in

Don’t be an asshole and just let people in. There’s going to be a time you need to move over four lanes and exit and people will let you over, so just be a good human and return the favor.

5. Know how to parallel park

I never had to pull up to the curb on my driver’s test, so when I moved to LA I had no idea how to parallel park. Period. It terrified me. Unless you want to pay $20 to park in a lot (yeah, it’s pricey) learn how to street park and save a lot of money. And always have a ton of coins on you to pay the meters.

6. Put your nose out when turning left

When you're ready to make a left turn, go past the stop line and into the middle of the intersection so that when the light turns yellow, you have no choice but to turn.

Are any of these tips helpful? They apply to most major cities, but mostly LA.

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