In 2016, there were over 55,000 accidents in the city of Los Angeles. That number may seem high, but the Southern California freeway system serves a population of over 23 million people. The vast interconnected system of freeways, interstate highways, and city streets can be difficult to navigate for even the most experienced driver. It’s no surprise people get into accidents on a regular basis. That’s why it’s important to stay safe when driving your rental car in Los Angeles. Whether you’re renting a car for business or pleasure, it’s important to stay awake and alert behind the wheel. Here are some quick tips to keep you on the road and out of trouble.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
When you’re driving on the freeway, it’s safe to assume that most people aren’t paying attention. There’s not much you can do other than keep your distance on all sides. Don’t drive next to people in other lanes if you can avoid it. You should also stay at least 3 car lengths away from the person in front of you, and never tailgate. Tailgating invites trouble, and puts both you and other drivers in danger.
These rules are especially true if you’re driving near a big rig or other large truck. Trucks have limited visibility, maneuverability, and it takes them much longer to stop. Always give big rigs and trucks a wide berth. If you have to pass them, do it quickly and decisively. Driving defensively is the best way to get you to your Los Angeles AirBnB safely.
Follow the Flow of Traffic
Keep in mind that most freeways have a maximum and minimum speed limit. Driving too slowly can be just as dangerous as driving too quickly. After you merge onto the freeway, get up to speed and get out of the merging lane as soon as possible. The difference in speed between you and the flow of traffic is what can cause an accident. Once you are up to speed, you have a much better view of your surroundings, and there’s a much lower chance of getting plowed into from behind.
Also, be sure to stay in the correct lane for your speed and destination. It’s likely you’ll encounter a freeway with up to 6 lanes when driving your rental car in Los Angeles. As a rule of thumb, the right two lanes are for merging on and off the freeway. The middle two lanes are for through traffic going at freeway speed. Finally, the lanes furthest to the left are a passing lane and carpool lane. Don’t get caught in the carpool lane if you have less than 2 people in the car. It could land you with a hefty ticket. The California Highway Patrol doesn’t mess around when it comes to enforcing traffic laws.
Be Decisive When Changing Lanes
Merging onto a 6 lane freeway can be stressful, even for experienced drivers. However, it’s easy if you take it one lane at a time. You’re not supposed to merge across multiple lanes at once anyways. When you need to merge, put on your blinker, check your mirrors, and then check your blind spot. Then, decisively merge into the next lane. Repeat this process if you’re merging across multiple lanes. That way you take it one lane at a time, and have full awareness of your surroundings. Be aware of any cars speeding up to pass you from behind, and be especially careful of your blind spot.
If you’re driving a rental car in Los Angeles there’s a good chance you’re not from the area. That’s why a reliable GPS is a must-have for driving around the city. Since you’re traveling over 65 MPH, it takes less than a minute to travel a mile. When your GPS says you’re two miles from your exit, start merging into the rightmost lanes. Since you have a few minutes to get there, you can merge at your leisure. It’s important to get into the correct lane ahead of time, so you don’t have to make any dangerous maneuvers.
Looking for a Rental Car in Los Angeles?
At Value Rental Car we understand that driving in Los Angeles can be hard for visitors and locals alike. We offer clean and affordable rental cars for local driving in LA. We offer GPS rentals if you need some help getting around. We also rent to drivers under the age of 21, and we offer cash and debit card car rentals. Let us know what we can do to help.