Destination Driving 101: Tips for Navigating the Road in Los Angeles 

If you’ve got an upcoming trip planned in Los Angeles, you’re likely researching how you can get from Point A to Point B. Although the city does have a transportation system, it’s not as efficient or effective as in cities like San Francisco or New York. On the other hand, you’ve probably heard horror stories about Los Angeles traffic. Having your own vehicle allows you to make the most of your trip and gives you optimal freedom, but there are certain precautions you can take to avoid typical LA road issues. Here’s what you need to know:

Pay Attention to Traffic News

All the tools you need to stay abreast Los Angeles traffic news are readily available. Before you begin your drive, listen to the radio for live traffic news. This way, you’ll know what roads are best avoided before you head out on your journey.

For example, certain areas might be smooth sailing on a typical day, but be a major headache if there’s a film shooting. These are things you couldn’t possibly predict if you didn’t plan ahead. You should also pay attention to LED road signs along the way, which warn you of potential issues you could run into ahead.

According to the Barnes Firm, a personal injury firm in Los Angeles (learn more here:, traffic accidents are particularly common in Los Angeles, and were on the rise between 2016 and 2017. Certain apps like Waze will also update you with accident news, making it easy for you to avoid a pesky driving situation.

Stay Away From 405 During Rush Hour 

Unfortunately, Los Angeles has some of the worst commutes in the country. Although you should avoid driving during rush hour in general, the 405 is particularly one of the worst. The morning rush hour lasts from 7am to 10am in Los Angeles, and the afternoon rush hour is between 4pm and 7pm.

During this time, it’s best to avoid the 405, which its infamous for its gridlock. You might also want to avoid it between 3pm and 4pm, when there’s a mini rush hour as people are on the way to pick up children from school. Although this does limit your options a bit, the time you’ll save by taking a slightly longer alternate route will almost always benefit you in the long-run.

Use a Public Transit-Car Combo

Although it’s best that you have your own car during your visit, there are certain situations where you should combine your own vehicle with public transportation. This is especially true in touristy-areas like those along Sunset Boulevard, which are well-serviced. While your car is great for reaching further, out-of-the-way areas, it’s best to park your car in a convenient, less crowded area and retreat to public transportation for some sightseeing.

Be Wary of Events 

Certain events can make LA roads even more unbearable, and you should research what events are occurring before you get behind the wheel. For example, the Rose Bowl, sports games (like the Lakers or Dodgers), and award ceremonies like the Oscars, will almost always close Los Angeles traffic. Unless you’re attending one of these events, you might want to rethink your driving plans and schedule for the day.

Look Out for Pedestrians

This might seem like an obvious tip, but Los Angeles is full of walkers, especially in local neighborhoods and college campuses. California drivers must always yield to pedestrians on the road, and you’ll find that in heavy foot traffic areas, many of these pedestrians are walking and skating across the road without paying attention to where they’re going. As a visitor, you might be tempted to pay a little too much attention to your GPS, but you should always keep your eyes on the street to avoid a collision.