Moving to California: Military Editon. Driving in Cali

I’ve driven in a lot of cities. From Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Seattle. Just a few places that is known to have some traffic.

Southern California is a different type of traffic. One I wish I could quantify into words.

It’s a place you can have road rage driving the speed limit. Where you wonder why the traffic isn’t moving at all. When you get paranoid something is wrong when there is no traffic.

Luckily there are several spots that if you look on the road it will tell you things. Like the speed limit. Or when the interstate splits into 2 it will say which lanes lead where.

Once you get it down it can be easy.

You have any where from 4 lanes to 8 lanes on the interstate.

The HOV is in certain areas. And be careful because at certain points they move. It expands or decreases the HOV (depending on which lane you’re in).

I’ve noticed that some people do not turn their neck when they merge. What do I mean by that? They don’t look and just merge. And they will either hit people or cause what I call and almost accident.

That is something I had to get used to. If someone has their turn signal on. Be cautious as they will merge right away even if a car is there.

After a certain point in night we won’t go out and do things.

Oh you want us to drive down and have dinner with you? That 30 minute drive just turned into an 2 hour drive.

“What is that person doing?” Is something my husband often says.

It seems not many people know how to zipper here. Many lanes merge down and there isn’t a lot of room. It would be easy if people zippered. But it tends to take some time.

One of my favorite is leaving the Naval Hospital. To get to 163, 3 lanes that are 2 each merge down to 1 in about half a mile. It takes me about 15 minutes to do during traffic. 5 if no traffic. It’s a joy when 3 lanes suddenly become 1 and everyone wants to merge into that 1.

Things to know!

Don’t stay in the right lane unless you are exiting or merging the interstate. It will be slow.

The far left lane is the fast lane. If you’re doing the speed limit people behind you will be upset.

In a lot of places the right lane is the exit lane, and will pick back up in the entrance lane.

If you have an manual car be careful. They don’t like to give space here. I’ve scared a few people when I roll back a bit (maybe 3 inches to be honest). Because they like to get right up on your bumper. It isn’t like that every where. It just seems in the places where you know you’ll roll back a bit (hello steep hills).

Know where the schools are. If you drive an area know. Why do I say this? Where my daughter goes the pick up spot is on the side of the road. So the right lane is mainly for that. If you want to get through without stopping go in the left lane.

Buses like to pull out right in front of you. 🤦‍♀️

If your GPS says 30 minute drive. Add 15 minutes to that. I tend to add more if parking garage. Say an hour. So I can drive, park in parking garage, and walk to where I need to go. I’m usually 5-10 minutes early. But on occasions I can be late depending on traffic.

Give it a month to get used to. And just know depending on where you go the traffic changes.

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