How To Drive In LA

How To Drive In LA

By Courtnay McClure

The first thing you hear (usually) when you move to Los Angeles, California is, “Oh, I hear LA traffic is the worst! Hope you’re able to pick up LA driving quickly…” And to that I say, “How in the world is driving in LA different than any other state? And at that, how is it more difficult than driving in Syracuse? We’ve got potholes, black ice, crazy taxi drivers, so many one-way streets you’re bound to go down one the wrong way, and too many hills.”

But it’s a little bit different than Syracuse. Here are 5 tips:

  1. Always change lanes without using your blinkers. People in LA get really mad if you use them. They’ll even speed up so you can’t get in front. Haters…
  2. Always, Always, Text and Drive. You never know how important a text is from your mom! Definitely don’t want to drive for 20 minutes to get some food and have your mom leave you 20 messages wanting to know why you haven’t called today to tell her what you had for breakfast! (2 Boiled eggs, bacon, half a grapefruit, and some asparagus… and yes I’ve been taking my vitamins!)
  3. There’s no such thing as traffic… It only gets congested when someone gets in an accident or there is rain or something interesting is happening on the side of the road or people are trying to cut others off to get to work faster or if there are red lights or if there’s a grandma on the road or if it’s lunch time and everyone wants food. So, basically, there is never traffic. Only, like, from 8:00am -10:00pm. So, never!
  4. If you own a car that has a great engine (Audi, Volkswagen, Ferrari, Maserati, Rolls Royce), you must, under all circumstances, drive 10 mph below the speed limit. Whereas, if you drive a beaten down, crappy, old, squeaky car (for example my Ford Expedition that was handed down to me by my parents, which was handed down to them by my grandmother… I’m not complaining dad…), you must drive at least 5 mph above the speed limit, more likely 10 mph. It’s the LAW.
  5. Last but not least. THE GLARE. When you get cut off or someone does something they’re not supposed to do (example: sit in the middle lane not moving while the light is green… jerk.), you do THE GLARE. It’s the go-to facial expression that says, “You’re such an idiot. I hate you. You know you’re in the wrong. How did you get a license?” among swear words and the Italian flat hand gesture (you all know what I’m talking about). You do this as you slowly pass them.

So, that’s all you need to know about driving in Los Angeles. It’s pretty easy to catch on to the lifestyle here in LA. Moving to a new place is never scary, especially if you know how to drive like a local (Don’t get me started on Italy). So far I’m really enjoying all of my experiences here, even if I occasionally get THE GLARE…