Living the San Francisco Dream


Holiday Driving in and around San Francisco

angry driverDriving in the San Francisco Bay Area can be a stressful experience, and during the holiday season it is often worse than ever.

More people are behind the wheel, out of town visitors aren't familiar with our roads and merge patterns, and holiday stress creates more tension. Nerves are often frayed.

So, what can you and I do to cope with this as we head out on our own busy days?

  • Plan ahead - anticipate that traffic will be heavy and allow extra time to get to your appointment
  • Don't tailgate!
  • Change lanes with extra care and avoid sudden moves
  • Stay alert, and keep an eye out for drivers who are speeding or driving erratically
  • If you encounter an aggressive driver, don't make eye contact or respond in any kind

Above all, find a way to be calm. Take a deep breath, keep breathing. Try being extra courteous, allowing people to easily make that lane change they need, or take the parking space you both covet. You'll be amazed at the sense of calmness that creates.

As the sergeant in NYPD Blues used to say, "let's be careful out there!"


--- Come for a visit; Stay for a lifetime!

Lottie Kendall, Realtor®


CA DRE#10215160; 650-465-4547

Peninsula Living Business Page



Comment balloon 8 commentsLottie Kendall • December 20 2013 08:20AM


Lottie,  It's madness and mayhem out there. A princess failed to yield to my right away. I did not know she was turning left because she did not have her turn signal on. I had to hit my brakes to avoid hitting ... then she flipped me off! Makes me not want to leave my home office until after Christmas.  (LOL)!

You offer great advice here.  Breathing is key to managing external events we have no control over.

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, Probate Real Estate (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) almost 7 years ago

Lottie, I just don't get the anger and frustration of many folks. It's so darn sad. I always try to remember that somebody might be having a really bad day. It's best to take the high road, literally and figuratively. :)

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) almost 7 years ago

Kathleen, it's definitely scary out on the roads these days; certainly not just in San Francisco--I often think the Peninsula and Silicon Valley has worse traffic and just as many aggressive drivers. Glad you were able to avoid your near miss.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 7 years ago

Debb, it can be easy to get sucked into someone else's drama, but knowing in advance that you will choose not to do so helps keep one's calm. Definitely take the high road!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 7 years ago

Lottie - This is a crazy time of year and you've given some great common sense, easy driving tips to make the driving experience in San Francisco that much more enjoyable!  Happy Holidays!

Posted by Laura Allen, Lake Tahoe - Truckee Real Estate for Sale, Tahoe Real Estate Agent Helping Buyers and Sellers (Coldwell Banker, Tahoe City, CA (530) 414-1260) almost 7 years ago

Good tips Lottie.  Another thing that I have learned about driving in San Francisco is that you really have to watch out for bicyclists too. 

Posted by Jim Patton, Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties ( Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816) almost 7 years ago

I have driven the city this time of year as my brother doesn't live far from there. You describe what it is like, very well.

Make it a great weekend!

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) almost 7 years ago

Laura, it's nuts on the roads, but I've decided I don't have to be.

Jim, bicyclists who blow through traffic lights are a real problem in SF - you are so right.

Joe, traffic actually seems worse to me on the Peninsula and Silicon Valley, perhaps because the distances are greater there.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) almost 7 years ago