Picture riding your bicycle around your house. It’s cramped, turns are tight, and there’s so much to keep track of and maneuver around. This isn’t all that dissimilar to driving in a big city, where your lane often feels cramped, there’s rarely an easy turn, and people mill about constantly from all sides. If you dread driving in metropolitan areas, read these safe driving tips for the big city to make it less of a pain.
Avoid Micro Adjustments; You Don’t Save Time
Typically, driving in the city means navigating traffic congestion. There are many smart safe driving practices for when you’re in a traffic jam, but one general principle is to stop making little adjustments throughout your drive. While switching lanes to get ahead, riding someone’s bumper to avoid getting stopped by a red light, and other practices seem to save time, they ultimately don’t.
When your drive ends, you may save mere seconds by swerving around other cars, something that endangers you much more than simply staying in your lane. Also, these actions cause unnecessary stress. Unless you know you need to change lanes to continue in the correct direction—something you may need to do often in an urban environment—stay in your lane.
Watch for Pedestrians; They’re All Over
Also, always watch for pedestrians. They don’t move as predictably as nearby cars, and often they are less visible. Respect bicycle lanes, pedestrians’ right-of-way, and other roadway rules. When determining how a pedestrian will move, try to make eye contact. This helps you either give them the guaranteed right-of-way or proceed.
As you navigate seas of pedestrians, always strive for patience. It’s impossibly hard for both pedestrians and drivers to wade through the masses perfectly. Give grace to those who don’t respect your intentions and be especially on guard when you lack the energy to be as gracious as normal—ultimately, safety always comes first.
Visualize Your Drive; You’ll Avoid a Wrong Turn
Our final safe driving tip for city driving is to visualize your drive beforehand, or at least a couple turns and lane change ahead. Cities are full of road signage, including many signs in very close proximity to one another. This muddies how one navigates and often leads to taking the wrong exit or making a wrong turn. It helps to visualize what the street you’ll turn on looks like; you can do this through a detailed roadmap application before you set out on your drive.
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