LOS ANGELES is the 2nd busiest city in the US and depending on where you need to go it can take a lot of time to get to your destination. Los Angeles is one of those destinations where it is essential to have a good GPS system or comprehensive maps, especially if you are a visitor in a rental car and don’t know your way around
Driving in LA is always on the right hand side of the road and there are a variety of different roads and highways. What can sometimes be very confusing in LA is when you are using the freeways and highways and asking for directions. This is because the freeways are referred to by name and number. EG- 1-105 is also known as the Century Freeway. However, when asking a resident for directions you will probably be given the directions by freeway number only. There are lots of different lanes on the freeways and it is a good idea to be aware of this before you set off.
Here are some tips for driving in Los Angeles:
- In Los Angeles you cannot use your phone whilst driving as LA is strictly hands free driving at all times.
- Seatbelts are also compulsory for both the driver and all passengers at all times.
- All babies and children under 27kg or 6 yrs of age must be restrained in a booster seat or car seat.
- The BAC limit is 0.08 for those aged 21 and over at all times.
- Peak hour in LA is generally between 7-9 am and then again between 3-7 pm. The freeways heading to the beaches are also bumper to bumper on sunny weekends.
- At all intersections passengers have right of way at all times.
- U TURNS are allowed unless signage states otherwise, or there is a solid yellow line down the road.
- You can turn right at a red light after stopping unless a sign tells you otherwise.
Also be aware that there are carpool lanes at the far left and to travel in these lanes you need a minimum of 2 or sometimes 3 persons in the vehicle. You will be given an infringement notice if you use these lanes inappropriately. The road signs should state which hours these lanes operate as carpool lanes.
Something that really slows down the LA roads is the left turn on a red signal. There are many intersections in LA where you can pull as far through the intersection as is safe on a green light. Then when all other traffic has gone through and the light is red- you may turn. Often when the light turns red up to 5 vehicles perform this turn and it slows things down.
When looking for parking it is advised to be patient and be aware of signage in residential zones. Often parking in residential streets is permit parking only. Be prepared and travel with plenty of quarters to feed any parking meters. Once parked, ensure that you remove from view all valuables and luggage if you want to return to these items.
webcarhire.com offers a great range of cars to rent from either Los Angeles Airport or downtown.
Author: Antony Hearst