I’m currently sitting in a nice little cafe in Los Angeles that I read about on the co-working wiki. I decided that since I was in LA and had a car that I would head out here to check it out – which leads me onto my tips for Australian’s planning on driving in Los Angeles.
- Get a GPS. If this is the first time driving in the USA (it is for me) then you definately don’t want to be looking at a map on your lap whilst trying to drive on the wrong (errr. right) side of the road.
- Hug the left line and avoid drift. In right hand drivers we tend to hug the right hand side of the road. Unfortunately in the USA this would make you straddle two lanes (at best) or mount the curb or side swipe another car (at worst). You need to really concentrate on hugging the centre line of the road (on your left).
- Take your time. I know its hard (people can sometimes be impatient, but as you approach an intersection where you need to turn consciously figure out which lane you are turning into.
- Practice with Grand Theft Auto. So I am only half serious here. But there are quite a few car games here that are set in the USA and give you a first person view of what it is like in the car. The advantage of this technique is that if you ever end up in the rough end of town you’ll know how to handle yourself
Getting around LA isn’t too hard but I definitely wouldn’t want to do it whilst trying to read a paper map and drive on a side of the road that I am not used to. In the end I headed off to Frys to get another GPS because my Navman didn’t have the USA maps loaded and for the same price I could get them I could get a whole new GPS and save myself the hassle of downloading and migrating the map data.