Atlanta has a lot of great things to offer. People from Georgia and beyond flock to the city eat, dance, learn, and… flock. The roads are often congested, but things are getting better: as Atlanta drops lower and lower on the list of congested traffic cities in America, the savvy driver can zip around in relative ease. There are 5 things have you should do if you want to have a stress-free drive around Atlanta.
1. Plan Your Day Ahead of Time
An impulsive drive to the other side of the city sounds like fun, right? While you shouldn’t hold back from a great opportunity, the rest of the time you’ll save yourself time, gas, and headaches by planning your day around your travel plans. Don’t go out twice in one day if you can avoid it, for example. See what is going on in an area that you already have to get to (there’s always something amazing happening in Atlanta), and hit up 2 or 3 locations before you head home.
2. Travel During Off-peak Hours
Atlanta doesn’t clear out once night falls; it’s never going to be ghost town. But if you’re fine getting somewhere a little early or doing your shopping a little late you can avoid the worst of the crunch. Atlanta has rush hour just like every other city; some people forget this when they come over for a vacation, or to look at moving into the city. Don’t judge all Atlanta traffic by trying to get downtown at 8am on a Monday.
3. Update Your Navigation App
Atlanta roads are under construction often, and the entire I-285 situation is set up to give you a headache. You’re going to have a much better time if you have your navigation app up to date.
While some apps have the most direct route, you’re going to want to use an app that accounts for traffic. There are many on the market; only experience and reviews can tell you which is going to work the best for you and your phone. If an accident or sudden road closure occurs, you’re going to get directed to go around the hang up instead of wasting your time trapped in it.
4. Be a Courteous Driver
This sees like something that you should do all of the time, but it’s really respected on the Atlanta road. Southern Hospitality doesn’t end when you get into the driver’s seat. You’re always going to find a couple people (probably from out of state) who aren’t going to let you into a lane, but the rest of the time you’re treated well as long as you do the same.
Don’t cut people off unless you have to—and if you do have to, a wave of apology will help you smooth things over. Also, wave in thanks if someone lets you into a lane. It’s easier than ever to get through it. Just remember that you’re all trying to get somewhere important. It’s not a race, it’s a group effort to get everyone home safe.
5. The Far Right Lane Isn’t Your Friend
Far Right lanes in Atlanta and the Atlanta area are typically exit only. If you find out too late, you’re going to be navigating a maze you didn’t sign up for when you get off at the wrong exit. The other option? Stay in the far right lane but then try to get back over every time an exit comes up. Shake off that well-meaning but not applicable driving advice to drive a sensible, defensive distance in the far right lane and move over one for your safety and comfort.
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