The numbers (if not the seemingly endless red taillights) tell the story:  According to the Los Angeles Times, the Greater L.A. area has four — yes, four — of the world’s most-congested freeway segments. Which roadways take top honors for being the worst?

Photo: Creative Commons/billy kerr

The southbound 101 Freeway between Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Vignes Street, the 5 Freeway between Highway 133 in Orange County and Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles, the 10 Freeway between the city of Santa Monica and Alameda Street, and the northbound 101 Freeway between the 60 Freeway and Haskell Avenue.

The 101 southbound has the dubious distinction of being the site of the worst delays of any Los Angeles freeway. During the most congested periods, drivers move an average of 17 mph and spend 58 minutes longer in their cars than they would if traffic were free-flowing; they clock 134 hours per year — about 5 1/2 days — waiting in traffic.

Here are some tips that can help make your stop-and-go ride quicker, while giving your car brakes a break at the same time.

Photo: Flickr/Prayitno

Avoid The 405

If you need to avoid congestion on the 405, the best options are cutting over the Hill on either Coldwater or Laurel Canyons.

Wait until gridlock hours have passed

Don’t lock yourself into endless hours of idle (or should we say idling) time. Try to stay off the streets of L.A. during the hours of heaviest traffic:  approximately 7:30 to 9:30 am and 3:30 to 7:30 pm.

Take Sepulveda

The Sepulveda not only parallels 405, it also moves faster. It may be a little bit windier, but you’ll still wind up following the freeway in the direction you need to be.

Use The Carpool Lane

One is the loneliest number, especially when you’re driving. The carpool lane operates 24/7, allowing you to cruise past all of those cars transporting just one person. You can still access the carpool lane even if you don’t have a passenger with you so long as you have a Green Clean Air Vehicle decal for your enviro-friendly car.

Photo: Flickr/Marty B

Use SigAlerts

Issued by the California Highway Patrol, SigAlerts let you know about accidents, motorcades, and the like by broadcasting real time traffic information on highway signs, radio, TV, and the SigAlerts website.

Take Fountain

Lights. Camera. Action. You’ll find plenty of that in Hollywood, and you’ll see plenty of cars in action if you head to Tinseltown on Fountain Street. It’s the fastest street going east to west or west to east, as opposed to other routes like Sunset or Hollywood Boulevard.