Best Times To Avoid La Traffic In 2023

Los Angeles is infamous for its terrible traffic congestion. As a driver in LA, you know that sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic can quickly lead to frustration and lost time. If you’re looking to spend less time stuck behind the wheel this year, it pays to know the best times to avoid LA traffic in 2023.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: the best times to steer clear of heavy traffic in LA are early mornings before 7 AM, late nights after 8 PM, weekends, and holidays.

Morning Rush Hour

6 AM – 9 AM Weekdays

The morning rush hour in Los Angeles can be a daunting experience for commuters, with heavy traffic and long delays. However, there are certain times when you can avoid the worst of the congestion. One of the best times to avoid LA traffic during the morning rush hour is between 6 AM and 9 AM on weekdays.

During this time, the majority of commuters have already made their way to work, and the roads are relatively clear. This is a great opportunity to beat the traffic and get to your destination faster.

Tips for Beating the Morning Traffic

While the 6 AM – 9 AM timeframe is generally a good time to avoid LA traffic, there are a few additional tips that can help you beat the morning rush hour:

  1. Plan your route: Before hitting the road, make sure to plan your route carefully. Make use of navigation apps or websites to find the most efficient and least congested routes.
  2. Leave early: If possible, try to leave a bit earlier than usual to give yourself extra time to reach your destination. This can help you avoid the peak traffic hours and reduce the stress of being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
  3. Consider alternative transportation: If the traffic is consistently unbearable, you might want to consider alternative modes of transportation. Carpooling, taking public transportation, or even biking can be great options to avoid the gridlock and reduce your commute time.

By implementing these tips, you can significantly improve your morning commute and have a smoother start to your day.

For more information and real-time traffic updates, you can visit the official website of the Go511 traffic service. This website provides up-to-date information on traffic conditions, accidents, and road closures, helping you plan your journey more effectively.

Evening Rush Hour

4 PM – 7 PM Weekdays

The evening rush hour in Los Angeles typically begins around 4 PM and lasts until 7 PM on weekdays. During this time, the roads are often congested with commuters heading home from work, leading to heavy traffic and long delays.

It’s important for drivers to plan their journeys accordingly to avoid getting caught in the gridlock.

Strategies to Avoid Evening Gridlock

While it may seem impossible to escape the evening rush hour in Los Angeles, there are several strategies you can employ to minimize your time spent in traffic:

  • Adjust your schedule: If possible, try to avoid traveling during the peak rush hour times. Consider leaving work earlier or later to bypass the worst congestion.
  • Utilize public transportation: Los Angeles has an extensive public transportation system, including buses and trains. Taking advantage of these options can help you avoid sitting in traffic and reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Carpool or rideshare: Sharing a ride with others can help alleviate the number of cars on the road during the evening rush hour. Consider carpooling with coworkers or using a rideshare service to split the cost and decrease traffic congestion.
  • Plan alternative routes: Familiarize yourself with alternative routes to your destination that may be less congested during peak travel times. Utilize navigation apps or websites to find the best route based on real-time traffic data.

By implementing these strategies, you can navigate the evening rush hour in Los Angeles more efficiently and reduce your stress levels on the road. Remember, a little bit of planning can go a long way in avoiding the gridlock and making your commute more enjoyable.

Midday Off-Peak Times

9 AM – 4 PM Weekdays

Looking to avoid the notorious Los Angeles traffic? Consider planning your activities between 9 AM and 4 PM on weekdays. These midday hours are generally considered off-peak times, with less congestion on the roads compared to rush hour.

Whether you need to run errands, attend appointments, or have a lunch meeting, taking advantage of this time slot can save you from the frustration of sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

According to LADOT, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, traffic tends to be lighter during midday hours as most commuters are at work or school. This means you can enjoy a smoother and more relaxed drive, with shorter travel times and fewer delays.

Plus, you’ll have an easier time finding parking spots and navigating through the city.

During these off-peak hours, you can also explore different neighborhoods and attractions without the usual crowds. Take a leisurely stroll through the scenic streets of Beverly Hills, visit the Getty Center for a dose of art and culture, or grab a bite to eat at a trendy restaurant in Downtown LA.

The possibilities are endless!

Great for Errands and Meetings

The midday off-peak times are particularly convenient for running errands and attending meetings. Need to pick up groceries, drop off dry cleaning, or visit the bank? Doing so between 9 AM and 4 PM on weekdays can save you valuable time and ensure you get through your to-do list efficiently.

Similarly, if you have business meetings or appointments, scheduling them during these hours can be advantageous. You’ll have a better chance of arriving on time, avoiding the stress of rushing through traffic.

Plus, you’ll have more flexibility in choosing meeting locations, as popular venues are often less crowded during midday hours.

Remember to plan your day accordingly to make the most of these midday off-peak times. Prioritize your tasks, schedule meetings strategically, and allow for some extra time in case unexpected delays occur.

With a bit of planning, you can navigate the bustling streets of LA with ease and enjoy a more efficient and stress-free day.

Weekends and Holidays

Anytime on Weekends/Holidays

Looking to avoid the notorious traffic in Los Angeles? Well, you’re in luck! Weekends and holidays are the best times to hit the road without getting stuck in gridlock. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a holiday road trip, you can expect lighter traffic and smoother driving experiences.

So, if you have the flexibility, try to schedule your trips during these periods to save yourself from the stress and frustration of sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Light Traffic Makes for Smooth Driving

One of the main reasons why weekends and holidays are ideal for avoiding LA traffic is the significantly lighter volume of vehicles on the road. During these times, many people are either staying at home or heading out of town, resulting in less congestion and faster travel times.

This means you can cruise along the freeways and reach your destination in a fraction of the time it would take during rush hour on a regular weekday.

According to traffic data from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, the difference in travel time during weekends and holidays can be quite substantial. For example, during peak weekday traffic hours, such as the morning and evening commutes, it can take up to twice as long to travel a certain distance compared to the same journey on a weekend or holiday.

This statistic alone highlights the significant advantage of planning your trips during these periods.

It’s important to note that while weekends and holidays generally offer lighter traffic, it’s still a good idea to check for any major events or road closures that may affect your route. Some popular attractions or events can still draw crowds and cause traffic congestion, so it’s wise to do a bit of research beforehand.

Websites like LADOT Traffic provide real-time updates on traffic conditions, accidents, and construction, helping you make informed decisions and choose the best times to hit the road.

Real-Time Traffic Tracking Apps


One of the most popular real-time traffic tracking apps available is Waze. This app, which was acquired by Google in 2013, uses crowd-sourced data to provide up-to-date information on traffic conditions.

Users can report accidents, road closures, and other obstacles, allowing fellow drivers to avoid potential delays. Waze also offers alternative routes based on real-time data, helping drivers save time and frustration on their daily commute.

With its user-friendly interface and reliable data, Waze is a go-to app for navigating through the bustling streets of Los Angeles.

Google Maps

Google Maps, a staple for many smartphone users, also offers real-time traffic tracking features. With its vast user base and integration with other Google services, Google Maps provides accurate and comprehensive traffic data.

The app uses a combination of historical data, real-time updates, and machine learning algorithms to predict traffic patterns and suggest the fastest routes. Google Maps also provides information on public transportation options, making it a versatile tool for navigating through LA’s busy streets.

Additionally, the app offers Street View, allowing users to get a visual preview of their route before hitting the road.

Apple Maps

For iPhone users, Apple Maps offers a reliable option for real-time traffic tracking. While it may not be as popular as Waze or Google Maps, Apple Maps has made significant improvements in recent years. The app provides real-time traffic updates, along with turn-by-turn navigation.

Apple Maps also integrates with Siri, allowing users to get directions and traffic information using voice commands. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of its competitors, Apple Maps is a solid choice for iPhone users who prefer a simple and intuitive navigation experience.

When it comes to choosing a real-time traffic tracking app, the preferences may vary depending on the individual’s needs and device. Waze stands out for its community-driven approach and extensive reporting features.

Google Maps offers a comprehensive solution with its vast user base and integration with other Google services. Apple Maps, while not as feature-rich, provides a reliable navigation experience for iPhone users.

Ultimately, the best app for avoiding LA traffic in 2023 will depend on personal preference and the features that matter most to the user.


By planning your driving around LA according to off-peak traffic times, you can dodge the stress of heavy congestion. Take advantage of the lighter traffic earlier in the mornings, later at night, and on weekends and holidays to maximize your time on the road.

With some strategic scheduling and helpful apps like Waze by your side, you’ll find the open streets you need to cruise around this sprawling city.

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