How Bad Is Lake Charles Traffic?

Lake Charles drivers can lose between five and 15 hours annually sitting in traffic.
Written by Drew Waterstreet
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Jun 01, 2022
Although data from 2021 has not been collected yet for
Lake Charles, Louisiana
, we can estimate from prior years that drivers lose between five and 15 hours to traffic jams.
Most traffic patterns are relatively predictable with a high density of blue-collar workers commuting in and out of Lake Charles on a strict schedule. That said, extraneous circumstances could cause massive backups—mainly due to poor road design. 
Don’t know the lay of the Lake Charles land? Don’t worry—the team at
isn’t just well versed in
car insurance
comparison shopping, but we also know a thing or two about analyzing traffic patterns. 
In this article, we’ll cover how traffic can get backed up in Lake Charles, tips on avoiding congestion, and how to save money on car insurance.
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How bad is Lake Charles traffic?

Previous data from the Urban Mobility Report suggests that Lake Charles drivers can lose up to 15 hours of their time stuck in traffic annually. This is below the national average, but if time is money—that’s too much!
The Lake Charles area is dependent on oil refineries and petrochemical plants for employment. Considering this is essential, hands-on work, the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t affect the local traffic patterns as much as in other metro areas that could pivot to remote work.

Why is Lake Charles traffic so bad?

Now that we understand the consequences of traffic congestion, let’s take a look at where the problems stem from.

Strict Commuting Schedule

The Lake Charles Metropolitan area is rich with industry and manufacturing opportunities. Some facilities include Turner industries, Westlake Chemical Corporation, Citgo, and Trunkline LNG—just to name a few.
Plant work typically operates on a strict shift schedule. This means the majority of employees are arriving and departing at the same time. As a result, inefficient traffic patterns are a side effect of the overarching employment schedule.

Road Design

To expand on the commuting topic, many workers utilize I-210 and I-10 for their trips to and from work. There’s one small problem: neither of these highways has a sufficient shoulder. Even if a minor accident happens along these highways, the blockage could cause congestion for miles.

Major chokepoints

There are some tricky roads to navigate throughout the area. Here are a couple of notable streets that are susceptible to congestion:
  • Ryan St
  • W Pujo St
  • Hodges St
  • Clarence St
  • Pujo St

How to navigate Lake Charles traffic like a pro

Although Lake Charles follows a pretty typical traffic pattern day-to-day, it’s a good idea to have a plan when extraneous circumstances strike! 
Here are a couple of tips for navigating Lake Charles traffic in no time:
  • Take the long way home. To avoid following the same route home as your fellow shift mates, you can try taking the backroads. It may be longer in distance, but it’s worth it to avoid the traffic.
  • Expect the unexpected. Before you leave, always check your route for potential obstacles. This strategy can be done using Google Maps, Waze, or tuning into your local 1400 AM radio station.
  • Stay calm and focused. Traffic jams are no fun for anyone. It may be tempting to become
    , but staying calm and focused is essential to getting to your destination safely.

Prepare for Lake Charles traffic by updating your car insurance

Traffic patterns can be predictable in Lake Charles, but that’s no reason not to plan ahead. That’s especially true when maintaining
car insurance
is required to operate a vehicle legally in Louisiana.
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