Driving tip #285 — If you live in Atlanta, you better be prepared to drive on Interstate 285, especially during 2017.
I-285, a.k.a. “the Perimeter,” is the interstate highway that encircles downtown Atlanta. As a matter of fact, cities and landmarks are identified by locals as being “inside the Perimeter” or “outside the Perimeter.” Tractor trailers are required to travel on I-285 rather than traveling through downtown Atlanta unless they are making deliveries inside the Perimeter. I-285 stays pretty crowded during “rush hour” in the morning, which is roughly from 7:00-10:00 AM, and “rush hour” in the afternoon, which is roughly 3:00-7:00 PM.
And during 2017, I-285 is even more crowded due to some crazy infrastructure incidents: the blazing fire that caused the collapse of a section of a bridge on I-85 inside the Perimeter, the huge buckle of a part of I-20 that shut down that major interstate in that area, and other incidences on heavily traveled roads inside and outside the Perimeter. I-285 is the logical detour to take while these roadways are inaccessible. Some people in Atlanta are wondering if these road calamities are truly a sign of the end times.
12 tips to prepare to drive on I-285:
- Anticipate all of the other drivers to do crazy stuff. They won’t disappoint you.
- Pay attention to the speed limit. With the new changeable speed limit signs, which adjust based on traffic congestion, make sure you take note of how fast you should go. And then drive safely with the speed of traffic.
- Expect that the other drivers will be changing lanes. A lot. I mean, a lot.
- Be prepared to come to a screeching halt. At some point during your commute, traffic will come to a complete stop (or pretty close), sometimes for no apparent reason at all.
- Don’t text and drive. Don’t do that on any road, actually. Also, don’t put on your make-up, shave, read the newspaper or make a sandwich while you drive.
- Keep your eyes on the road. Don’t get distracted by the billboards, buildings, road signs, the rising or setting sun glaring right in your eyes, or the new SunTrust Park.
- Remember that the far left lane is for the fastest traffic. If you are not the fastest driver on the road (and you probably shouldn’t be), then don’t stay in the left lane for long periods of time.
- Watch out for the tractor trailers! There are a lot of them of I-285 (see above).
- Know where your exit is. If you miss it, you may be driving for a while.
- If you have car trouble, pull over to the shoulder and the H.E.R.O. Units will come help you soon. Dial 511 on your phone and they will come to you ASAP. Note: if you pull off onto an exit ramp, my understanding is that the H.E.R.O. Units will not be able to help you there.
- Don’t be surprised if there is a stalled vehicle in the center lane. When you see this has happened, move out of that lane as quickly as possible! Otherwise, you may be sitting there for awhile.
- Be ready for anything!
If you have driven on I-285, feel free to add to this list with some tips of your own.