technology, travel

Terminology of Traffic


Today is the day: the first day of the cell-phone ban. I never thought this day would come.

I was raised not to use my cell phone while driving. When I was pulling into my driveway once at the age of 16, my dad caught me talking on the cell phone and threatened to take away my car… ever since then I’ve pretty much avoided the drive-and-chat. Besides, I drive a stick and I lack the hand-hand coordination to drive and shift and talk.

So, I am often annoyed by careless cell phone drivers. And today’s law is OK with me. I took a random poll on my way to work this morning, wondering how many drivers would break the law on day one. On my 45 minute drive, I saw not one “hands-occupied” talker. And I only noticed about 7 blue tooth talkers. Maybe those little ear clips are too hard for me to see. Or maybe they are too cyborg-ish to wear.

My dad has a “hang up and drive” bumper sticker. That’s how important it is to him. I almost called him on my drive to work to celebrate…. but then I remembered… ah, the humor of the world.

So, to celebrate, I thought I would finally introduce my traffic terminology. It is often said that eskimos have hundreds of words for snow… well, I think there are probably about that many for the causes of traffic in LA. So here are a few I’ve come up with during my spare time in the car.

1. Ebb-and-flow: the mysterious slow and speed of the freeways. There’s no reason to it, but you can see the cars ahead of you breaking but the ones ahead of them speeding up. It’s like a slinky, but not as fun.

2. Accidental: There’s an accident. Whether a crane falls on the 405, or it is a fender bender, this really can be the end of the beginning of a good day for anyone.

3. Rubberneck: There’s an accident on the other side of the freeway, which has NOTHING to do with your side, but still causes painful traffic.

4. Rush hour: 7-10 am or 5-8 pm. Really big chunks of your day when EVERYONE is trying to get somewhere.

5. Event-based: Lakers game, Dodgers game, concert at the Hollywood Bowl. I once spent an extra hour in traffic because of a Jay-Z concert. Thanks for that.

6. Construction: Not only is your road closed, but the detour is jam packed. Like the night they closed the 5 when I was trying to get home from the airport at midnight. Not cool.


That’s all for now- gotta save some for my book!

3 thoughts on “Terminology of Traffic”

  1. Hi. I like your writing style, I’m something of a nerd when it comes to writing, so I like to appreciate well written words when I read them. I’m actually just out of high school and I’m considering a career in Journalism. Not so sure though. Anyway, I’m looking to build up incoming links for my blog. Would you like to exchange blogroll links with me? If yes, please visit: and leave your URL there. The purpose of my blog is to generate debate on anything and everything that matters.

  2. I can’t help laughing when I read this traffic terminology. It’s so true. Love reading your articles, lots of different topics.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s