Driving in Los Angeles: Tips & Tricks

November 6th, 2018 by

View of 110 freeway and LA from Park Ro

Driving in Los Angeles can be stressful, even for locals. Whether you’ve lived in LA for years or are visiting from Mission Hills and Cerritos, there are a few freeway traffic dos and don’ts to keep in mind. Toyota of Downtown LA has outlined some of what we feel are the most important. Check out our lists below!

Navigating Freeway Traffic: The Dos

The next time you’re driving in LA, remember these tips:

  • Avoid gridlock hours: Obvious, but essential. If possible, avoid weekday rush hours: approximately 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. and 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Say “no” to the 405: Instead of languishing on the congested 405, take either Laurel Canyons or Coldwater to get over the Hill.
  • Use the carpool lane: The carpool lane is open all day — every day. Use it if you have a passenger/s. Note: Some carpool lanes double as toll lanes for solo drivers with a transponder; you may need one to use the carpool lane.
  • Leave early for big events: If you want to make it to the Dodgers game or a concert near West Hollywood, leave at least 45 minutes early.
  • Take La Cienega to the airport: If you’re catching a flight, avoid the freeway altogether, especially during rush hour. Instead, take La Cienega; once you get past Rodeo, it’s smooth sailing.

Navigating Freeway Traffic: The Don’ts

Don’t want added stress, an accident, or a fine? Refrain from doing any of the following:

  • Texting and driving: California law forbids drivers from sending or reading texts on their cell phones while on the road. You can, however, use a hands-free device to place/receive calls.
  • Driving angry: Driving in LA or Downtown LA is an exercise in courtesy. If you’re not in the right headspace to use traffic signals, yield to others, or obey speed limits and traffic lights — don’t drive.
  • Littering: You can expect a fine of up to $1,000 if you’re caught littering.
  • Driving in the center lane: If you’re cruising on a three-lane surface street, don’t drive in the center lane unless you’re passing a car or planning to make a turn.

What’s the Difference Between a Highway and a Freeway?

When you think “freeway,” you likely think of a road that’s free of tolls. That’s not necessarily the case. Freeways can be entered or exited freely from different locations. For example, you can exit the I-10 in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Culver City, or Monterey Park. The term “highway” is much broader; it describes any roadway that links two cities. A highway can also be a freeway, limited-access road, turnpike, or toll-road.

Learn More About Los Angeles from Toyota of Downtown LA Near Santa Monica!

Get more driving tips from Toyota of Downtown LA, located near Hollywood and Carson! Learn how to drive in Southern California’s smog, how to parallel park, and even how to conserve fuel at highway speeds. If you have any questions about our inventory or lease specials, contact us today, and don’t forget to always follow California seat belt laws when cruising our roads!

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