What’s the Fastest Way to Get Through Traffic? | Lifehacker

By | March 8, 2020


(whining)
(laughing) – [Andrew] There are two types
of drivers during rush hour. Ones that put on a podcast. (upbeat music)
– Hello and welcome to The Upgrade. – [Andrew] And commit to a lane. Others that swerve through
traffic maniacally. – This is just the on ramp. It’s so bad. – [Andrew] Who’s gonna get
to their destination first? Let’s find out. (upbeat music) – I’ve been driving in LA
since I was 15 years old. I am hard wired to change lanes whenever humanly possible. But my friend and colleague Andrew tells me that I’m going no where fast. – It may look like you’re making progress more quickly if you’re
aggressively slicing and dicing through traffic, but in the long term, it does not pay off. – Yeah, I still don’t think you’re right. – When cars in a given lane are in traffic going slower, they bunch together, just like bumper to bumper traffic. Cars in another lane that are going faster will be more spread apart. This makes the car that’s in a lane that’s going faster pass a bunch of cars so quickly that they don’t realize how many cars they’ve passed. However, this makes the
car in the slow lane wanna switch even though they might be in a faster lane overall. The car that’s stuck in the slow lane can woefully count each and
every car that’s passing them. My hypothesis is that if I stay slow and you go hardcore, cut
through as much as you can, I’m not gonna get to
lunch much later than you. Maybe a minute tops. – I’m skeptical. I still think I’m gonna get
there faster if I swerve. So let’s see. – Nice ride. – [Tahsin] So we decided to test this for ourselves at 9:32 a.m. In LA on the 405. – We’re using a stretch of 12 miles between the suburbs and the
city in rush hour traffic. Tahsin will be the lane changer while I will commit to a center lane. Our destination is a taco joint. This is, oh god no, no. (laughing) Is this what the normals who
live in LA actually deal with? Oh I see Tahsin. Oh, she is way far back. How? It makes no sense. – This is the worst. I literally feel like every lane is going faster than I am. This is exactly what he was talking about. When a car is passing you, you can count them one by one and it’s so painful. But when you pass a car, it goes so fast, like it’s
very unsatisfying. (laughing) This is the worst. He’s already in front of me. – Groove? I mean, I’m not saying you always have to take the past of least resistance, but more often than not, it gets you where you’re going and with a lot less sweat. – Oh my god, I think that’s him. Oh yeah. I finally got in front of him. Yeah, eat my dust, Andrew. Here we go oh. And I’m here first. It is 10:02. I beat him, I beat him. Now I just don’t know by how much. (laughing) And he’s clocking in at 10:04. – [Andrew] Hello. – Two minutes. – That’s it? So we’re at Tito’s. I do owe Tahsin a couple tacos, but what we learned is
it’s not really worth it to drive hard, is it? No, no. – I beat you only by like
a minute and 40 seconds and it was not worth it,
I did not enjoy my drive. I was very stressed out. – The sloth life is the way. And now I think I do owe
you some tacos though. – Yes, you still do owe me a taco but you’re right and
I will change my ways. (laughing)

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