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How Scary is it Really to Drive in LA?

Discussion in 'Southern California' started by bamagirl@hrt, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. halfmonkey

    halfmonkey Mouseketeer

    Jan 25, 2011
    I've driven in SF and SF doesn't compare to LA. Just keep in mind that in LA, there's always a traffic jam somewhere either because of road work/construction or an accident. Many times, there will be traffic and there actually won't be for any reason. Keep in mind too that the busiest freeway in America is the 10 freeway in LA. It's simply just a lot of people in LA and everybody drives. CA is the car capital of the US and LA is specifically the car capital. Nobody uses public transportation unless you don't own a car.

    With that said, there's nothing to be scared about. People do drive faster and tighter but as long as you go with the flow, you'll be good. Since you're not familiar with the roads and area, I would suggest to have your passengar mess with the GPS because if you drive slow in traffic, you may get some honks and some birdies. LA is not forgiving when it comes to slow drivers.
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  3. hreshtag

    hreshtag Earning My Ears

    Jan 25, 2013
    I think LA has a bad rap, but it's somewhat unfounded. I've had people from other countries tell me what a pleasure it is to drive in LA (true) and I've been to other countries (including Quebec), where road rage is about 9000 times worse than LA. I have no problems driving here. The actual driving, in my opinion, is not necessarily the issue. It's just the traffic. But LA is FAMOUS for traffic. It doesn't mean there isn't any traffic other places, it just means we're famous. You'll do absolutely fine, I promise. I personally do get ticked off at some drivers sometimes, but I find a LOT of courtesy on the road as well. Truly. I know the original post was old, but since you mentioned you're going in the summer, thought it was still relevant to post. :D
  4. bamagirl@hrt

    bamagirl@hrt DIS Veteran

    Jul 2, 2004
    Thanks for your replies. We are still a couple of months away from our trip, so I'm still reading everyone's input!
  5. bcla

    bcla DIS Veteran

    Nov 28, 2012
    The only issue I have with Southern California carpool lanes as an unfamiliar driver is that they're mostly double-white or dual double-yellow lines where it's a violation to go in or out. The entry and exit points are limited to every few miles where there are designated points to enter/exit. If you're familiar with the road, you'll know where to enter and exit. If you're new, you have no idea.


    Of course that doesn't stop people from using them as passing lanes or just randomly exiting or entering.
  6. Purrkins

    Purrkins Mouseketeer

    Apr 16, 2012
    You ever see that movie Deathrace 2000, with the machine gun mounted cars?

    It's about half as bad. :rotfl:

    Southern CA drivers and no better/worse than any other driver in any other state.

    The roads are very clearly marked as well.

    However, all this goes out the window once there is 1/1000 of an inch of water on the road - then it's everyone for themselves.

    Enjoy your trip. You'll do fine.

    But I'm actually serious about the water on the road. It's like the end of the world carpocolypse or something...
  7. mikedoyleblogger

    mikedoyleblogger DIS Veteran

    Feb 11, 2013
    Well, except Chicagoland in northeastern Illinois. Here, drivers take off the second (or sooner) that the light turns green, and it is accepted that the last group of cars approaching a light about to turn red will run the red light. Pedestrians in Chicago always wait a little extra beat before crossing because of this. SoCal drivers kind of do the opposite. They pause a beat before proceeding when the light turns green, and I've never seen red light-running on any of my trips to DLR.

    The traffic, though, is similar to here. Often there is no discernible peak direction during rush hour on our expressways--it can be jammed in both directions, or in directions you weren't expecting to be jammed. That's kind of the way it is (only uniformly that way) in the L.A. area.
  8. Purrkins

    Purrkins Mouseketeer

    Apr 16, 2012
    Well we do slow down before running red lights and stop signs - called the "California Stop."

    I guess the OP should know that during rush hour in LA it pays to be a tad aggressive when changing lanes on the freeway - we don't slow down to let people merge, so you'll just need to take the opening when it shows itself. Of course, when you do merge we lean on the horn and give you the finger like you cut us off. But the horn is just saying "howdy" and the finger just means we like you.

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