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Tips for staying safe in Los Angeles traffic

Los Angeles traffic is not a joke -- it is a harsh reality that we all have to deal with every single day. As we drive our kids to school, drive to the office, drive to get groceries, drive to meet a date for dinner and drive everywhere else, we face life and death situations that require quick thinking. This article will give you a few strategies to better navigate the maelstrom of Los Angeles traffic that all of us experience every day.

Use your emergency brake when you are stuck in gridlock. It might not seem obvious, but when your car is sitting in neutral or (if it is an automatic) you are only lightly touching the brake to keep it from rolling, your car is in danger of moving if it is unexpectedly hit from behind. By putting your car in neutral and activating your emergency brake, you can secure it from rolling and colliding with a car in front of you while saving your feet from having to put constant brake pressure on the peddle.

Be defensive. A lot of Los Angeles drivers are tempted to get aggressive in order to get ahead of the slow moving traffic. This is very dangerous, and pretty unproductive -- is it really worth risking your life to get to the office five minutes earlier? It's better to hang back, watch what is happening around you, give people space and give yourself enough space to react in the event that someone does something unexpected.

Stay with the flow of traffic. While being defensive is important, it is also important to match the speed and driving patterns of the traffic around you. This means you should not drive faster than other cars and weave in and out of traffic, but it also means that you should not drive dramatically slower than other cars, which forces them to weave in and around you.

These recommendations might seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many Los Angeles drivers do not follow them. Indeed, if you are ever tempted not to follow this advice, stop and ask yourself why. It is better to be safe than sorry, so drive carefully, avoid collisions, avoid injuries, avoid negligent drivers who might cause you to get into an accident and avoid the need to get in touch with a personal injury attorney.

Source: midrive.com, "Tips for driving in heavy traffic," accessed Oct. 08, 2015

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