Los Angeles Auto Insurance - Driving in LA
There are 527 miles of freeway in L.A. County and nearly 7,000 miles of surface streets in the City of Los Angeles alone. 6 million vehicles and 10 million residents all add up a lot of traffic and plenty of potential for accidents. Having the right car insurance in L.A. is just as important as having the right car. Fortunately, it’s easy to get a Los Angeles auto insurance quote from GEICO.
What to Know About Driving in Los Angeles City and Los Angeles County
Most of the driving laws in L.A. County are the same as those in the rest of California, but there are some regulations and customs unique to the metro area. Los Angeles County freeway HOV lanes are restricted 24/7, not just during rush hour, with a minimum occupancy requirement of 2 people. A 3-person minimum exists on certain freeways during certain hours. If you get caught illegally using an HOV lane, either on camera or by a police officer, the ticket can cost hundreds of dollars.
To drive in metro L.A., it’s good to know the layout of the city of L.A. versus the county of L.A. The city of Los Angeles is intertwined with other cities that are part of L.A. County. You can cross through several of these adjacent cities within one short drive. For example, you might drive through Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Beverly Hills on the Westside. In the South Bay, you might be in L.A one minute and Inglewood the next. Same with L.A. and Burbank in the San Fernando Valley. It pays – in avoided tickets – to know how to drive in each municipality, as speed limits and parking rules may vary.
Los Angeles Freeways
Freeways in L.A. County are an ecosystem unto themselves. They are usually referred to by their route numbers. They also have names that change depending on which section you’re traveling. Interstate 5 – also known as “the 5,” the Golden State Freeway, or the Santa Ana Freeway – runs between eastern Los Angeles, through the San Fernando Valley, northwest to Santa Clarita. Interstate 405 (“the 405” or the San Diego Freeway) is a branch off I-5 that travels through west LA County and south to Irvine. Interstate 10 is also referred to as “the 10,” Santa Monica Freeway, or San Bernardino Freeway. It goes from Santa Monica on the coast and crosses LA in an east/west direction.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of roadways in Los Angeles. To orient yourself to the web of freeways, surface streets, and neighborhoods of LA, you may want to invest in a good map as well as a GPS. That way, you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of the whole metro area for context as well as specific directions to get you from point A to point B within Los Angeles County.
Sites in Downtown Los Angeles
Downtown L.A. is filled with arts, sports, and cultural destinations. The Los Angeles Music Center, at 136 North Grand Avenue, covers two city blocks and includes the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Mark Taper Forum, and five other performing arts venues. The Staples Center, located at 1111 South Figueroa Street, is home court for LA’s professional basketball and hockey teams. You can get to the baseball stadium free (with a game ticket) via an express train from Union Station.
L.A.’s cultural diversity is reflected in neighborhoods such as Little Tokyo, where you can find the Japanese American National Museum (369 East First Street). Art enthusiasts may also want to visit The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (152 North Central Avenue). Most downtown sites are accessible by L.A.’s Metro system, the DASH bus, or car. There are numerous parking garages throughout the area.
More about California car insurance
Whether you’re seeking information on state-required coverage levels or teen driving laws in California, visit our California car insurance page. It can help you make the right decision about your auto insurance.