5 Tips to Make Your Driving Safer this Weekend

Carmageddon II tips are here.

This weekend, Southern California will once again confront the specter of Carmageddon, as a 10-mile stretch of the 405 Freeway in West Los Angeles shuts down for 53 hours. As with any large-scale traffic disruption, it's always smart to prepare for the worst. So if you live in L.A. and you have to venture out this weekend, Edmunds.com has some tips for making Carmageddon II a little more manageable:

1. Make good use of your in-car and smartphone routing capabilities. Smartphone apps and in-car navigation systems can provide real-time traffic reports and routing that avoids congested freeways and highways. The California Department of Transportation has a handy service: By dialing 511, you can get real-time traffic info. But resist the urge to pick up your smartphone while you're driving. Police tell us that's one of the top five ways to get pulled over.

2. Be cool behind the wheel. Road rage will get you nowhere, except in trouble. Practice some self-control. And rather than hating the guy who just blew off a line of traffic in order to merge in front of you, understand that he's just a sidezoomer. He might actually make traffic move faster.

3. Don't drive stupidly to get out of stopped traffic. It's dangerous and expensive if you're caught trying a desperate move like passing on the shoulder or driving on the sidewalk. Don't make illegal use of the carpool lanes — that will set you back at least $381. The California Department of Transportation reminds us that "pets, infants still in the womb, inflatable dolls and ghosts (we've heard 'em all!) do not count as passengers."

4. Know what to do in a stalled-car emergency. If you ignore this year's freeway closure warnings and you find yourself stuck in traffic, don't panic. If your car's temperature gauge begins to climb rapidly, start trying to pull over. If you can't pull over, switch off the air-conditioner and open the windows. You can even turn on the heat to circulate more coolant and try to hold the temperature down before you get off the road (yes, we know that the weather forecast calls for highs in the upper 80s and low 90s). If you start to smell steam or see steam coming out from under the hood, shut off the car as soon as you safely can.

5. Stay home. Watch Drive, Cars 2 or any of these other all-time great car movies. Do a little online car shopping for deals on discontinued and redesigned 2012 models. And imagine how great it will be in the not-too-distant future when cars can drive themselves.

This full story is available online at http://www.insideline.com/car-news/five-tips-for-surviving-carmageddon-ii.html.

Edmunds.com’s car experts and consumer advice editors are available to expand on these tips for Carmageddon. To arrange an interview, please contact Edmunds.com PR at 310-309-4900 orpr@edmunds.com.



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