Did you know that the city of Atlanta is one of the most dangerous cities to drive through in the United States?
If you’re a longtime resident, you already know how crazy Atlanta traffic can be. But if you’re new to town, or only visiting for a few days, you might be a bit intimidated by the roads, and thus, not want to drive them at all.
While driving is always dangerous, especially in major cities, you shouldn’t be afraid of Atlanta traffic. Once you know what to do when driving in Atlanta, and what not to do, you’ll be able to navigate the streets with confidence.
In this article, we’ll give you 7 tips and tricks for driving in Atlanta for the first time. And if you’re a resident, stick around, because you might learn a trick or two that you’ve never thought about before!
Now then, let’s get started!
1Expect to Sit in Traffic
One of the best things that you can do to improve your Atlanta driving experience is to simply expect things won’t go according to plan. More specifically, you should expect to sit in traffic for a bit and have your arrival time delayed as a result.
Because of this, we suggest that you give yourself plenty of breathing room by leaving for your destination early. Doing so will help make sure you get to wherever it is you’re headed on time while allowing you to stay relaxed when you inevitably hit traffic.
2Check Your Weather App Beforehand
Your weather app is your best friend. Take a quick glance at it before you leave the house so you know what type of weather you can expect during your commute.
Sure, the worst weather that can happen in Atlanta is usually a bad rainstorm. But a severe rainstorm slows down traffic quite a bit, which is something you’ll want to plan for.
3Inspect Your Car Before You Leave
Before you head out on the road, do a quick scan of your car to make sure everything looks good. Check your mirrors, make sure you have gas in the tank, and adjust your seat to a comfortable position.
It’s also important to keep your car well maintained. Doing so will help prevent you from breaking down in the middle of the road, delaying your commute and the commute of those around you.
4Keep Your GPS System up to Date
The city of Atlanta is constantly growing and changing. This means that new roads and new routes are popping up each year, changing the best ways to get to certain destinations.
The only way to make sure you have the best route for your destination is to keep your GPS up to date. If it’s a smartphone app, make sure you install any updates that you’re alerted of.
If you have a physical GPS device, take the time needed to hook it up to your computer so you can update your maps manually. You’ll be glad you did afterwards!
5Avoid Driving in the Far Right hand Lane
A common driving rule is to avoid the left hand lane unless you’re passing someone. But in Atlanta, the far right hand lanes are for exits only, so you need to avoid them unless you’re approaching your exit.
Driving in the middle and left hand lanes can be intimidating if you’re someone who sticks to the right hand lane normally. But as long as you keep calm and pay attention to the cars around you, you’ll notice that it’s not all that different from coasting in the right hand lane.
6Stay Alert and Avoid Distractions
Again, in order to stay safe when driving in any city, but especially Atlanta, you need to stay alert and avoid distractions. That means your cell phone needs to be out of your hand and out of reach when you’re on the road.
Hands-free devices are great, so if you don’t have one already, consider investing in one immediately. Also, using your radio to play turn-by-turn directions from your GPS is a great way to get to where you want to go safely.
7Stick to the Speed Limit
When driving in Atlanta, you need to go the speed limit. Allowing yourself to become intimated by the traffic, and thus drive slowly, is actually pretty dangerous and should be avoided.
Of course, speeding is never a good idea, either. You’re almost guaranteed to get a ticket if you get pulled over, which of course isn’t what you want.
And if you’ve been drinking, make sure you don’t drive, as Atlanta’s DUI laws are quite strict.
Use These Tips to Master Driving in Atlanta
Well, there you have it! Those are 7 tips and tricks that you can use when driving in Atlanta! As long as you keep these ideas in mind, you should be able to navigate this wonderful city smoothly!
Remember, a positive driving experience in the city of Atlanta starts long before you leave your home. Make sure your car is prepped, your GPS is updated, and above all else, you’re prepared to run into some traffic along the way.
When you’re driving, be sure to avoid the far righthand lane until you’re ready to take an exit. Also, drive the speed limit and stay alert and aware of your surroundings when behind the wheel.
Stick to the speed limit, unless it’s raining, in which case you should slow down a bit for safety purposes. Last but not least, make sure you stay calm and don’t panic when you run into a busy road or a heavy patch of traffic.
Looking for more ways to improve your experience on the road? Check out our blog!