The 405 might be the worst freeway in the US. Followed closely behind all of those Turnpikes on the East Coast, I’ve been lost on the New Jersey Turnpike more times than I’d like to admit.
Basic rules/tips to survive driving in the City of Angels:
- Merging: When you get on the freeway you need to merge into fast-moving traffic. Do NOT merge on the freeway at 35mph. Not only is this dangerous, you anger other drivers. Beware, the person you cut off may be having a truly horrible day.
- Lane Ending/exit only lane: When the lane you are in is ending, you are given plenty of warning time to move over. If you are that jerk that wait until the last possible minute to get over so that you can be two seconds ahead of the rest of the cars, I will not let you over. I waited my turn, you can wait yours.
- The 405 and 101 interchange: This will always go hand in hand with traffic. Do not be that person that cuts in between the two lanes up until the last quarter-mile hoping to get their faster. News flash: the traffic isn’t moving in either lane. Calm down
- Speed limit: The speed limit on most CA freeways is 65mph. PLEASE drive at least 65. Even if you are in the slow lane, don’t cruise along at 45-50. This is DANGEROUS. and incredibly irritating for all other drivers. The only people driving under 65 should be truckers, and maybe families driving fancy motorhomes. Likewise, don’t zip through the slow lane at 90mph, everybody hates you.
- Personalized License Plates: I don’t understand why people pay for these. If you are driving around with a personalized plate that says “RDNDRTY”, “CHILNM3” or some similar variation, I automatically assume you are a self-absorbed asshole. Sorry, I’m not sorry. If you really have the need to express yourself and your clear masculinity, buy a clever bumper sticker. It costs less, and should you grow up and realize no one cares that you’re “Riding Dirty”, you can remove the sticker. No harm, no foul.
- Bumper Stickers: bumper stickers are not the worst invention, when used appropriately. If you want to decorate your car with bumper stickers, limit yourself to 3 stickers. Anything more than that is obsessive. There is no need to have any old, expired political bumper stickers. You also don’t need to put a cross or other religious symbol on your window. My personal favorite: the family bumper stickers, pets included. WHY in this day and age would you list your entire family AND everyone’s names ? Do you know how many creepy people there are? By putting this on your car, you are essentially inviting pedophiles and other creeps to stare into your vehicle and potentially knock on your door (if you park your car in the driveway).
- Red lights: Don’t be stupid. Don’t run them
- Proper etiquette: If you have to cut someone off, wave to them as if you are saying “Thank you”. They may be irritated that you cut them off, but at least you acknowledged them.