Driving in traffic through a busy urban area makes you feel stressed and frustrated? These 6 tips for city driving can help make your driving experiences better!
Crowded streets in urban areas are a problem specific to the 21st century that we all have to embrace. But this doesn’t make it any better. We get that.
Being a driver in a crowded urban area can be really challenging and frustrating. What for others is a relaxed drive to their workplaces or other places in their surroundings. For city drivers, the experience can be quite frustrating.
City driving means that encountering traffic jams, bumper-to-bumper traffic, and herds of pedestrians and cyclists that you need to look after will be part of your day-to-day commute. If you’re looking for tips on how to handle all these challenges like a pro, you’ve come to the right place. Here are six city driving tips that will help you survive the streets in the urban jungle!
1. Drive prudently
While driving prudently should apply to every trip you make with your car, when driving on the city’s crowded streets, this is twice more important. So, whenever you get behind the wheel, think safety first to avoid crashes and help lower your risk on the road.
First of all, make sure that you stay focused on the road and allow no distraction to make you get your eyes off the road and what’s happening in the traffic. In other words, don’t text or talk on the phone while driving, don’t listen to loud music, and don’t try to do anything else that may prevent you from being fully attentive to driving.
Pay attention to aggressive drivers and try to stay away from them. Other people may not mind putting themselves and other traffic participants at risk just to get to their destination faster. These are the drivers you should avoid in traffic. It’s better to stay behind a slow-moving truck than to drive next to a driver that doesn’t pay attention to how their driving affects others.
What’s more, make sure that you always make your driving intentions very clear to other drivers and traffic participants. Signal in advance before changing lanes, making turns, stopping, and so on. This is extremely important to avoid accidents.
Another tip is to pick a lane and stick to it. While you may never have thought about it, changing lanes frequently can actually increase the risk of an accident, even though it gets you to your destination a few seconds earlier. It’s not worth it to put yourself and others in danger to shorten your ride with just a few seconds.
Obviously, another safety-related tip is to keep your speed down. Make sure that your speed matches driving conditions, whether if that means weather conditions, a traffic jam, or deteriorated roads.
2. Leave early to and from work
Driving in a rush-hour is simply a terrible idea, whether that is in the morning or the afternoon. Everybody rushes whether to get to work or get back home, and pretty much no one pays the proper attention to other vehicles, pedestrians, or other traffic participants.
If you don’t want to get yourself blocked in a traffic jam or increase the risk of accidents, it’s best to simply leave a bit early to work or late from work.
Leaving your workplace even just 10 minutes earlier in the morning can make all the difference in how busy or empty the streets are. Similarly, leaving a bit later in the afternoon can help you drive on significantly emptier roads.
3. Plan your driving route
Another great way to handle the heavy traffic in your city is to plan your driving routes thoughtfully before heading out. You can use an up-to-date map to plan your journey, and this will save you a lot of time since you’ll no longer have to figure out which way to go when you’re already in terrible traffic.
Besides saving time, planning your driving routes can also help you avoid traffic congestions. If you know that a particular street or way is typically really crowded, better plan a driving route that goes around that area of the city.
4. Get the right city car
Having the right vehicle suitable for city driving is another excellent strategy to make your trips less frustrating and stressful. Good vehicles for driving around the city are small, practical, and easy to drive. Ideally, they are also packed with plenty of safety features.
What’s more, since driving in a crowded urban area will often mean being stuck in traffic jams, driving slowly, and stopping at numerous traffic lights, a good city vehicle is one that is fuel-efficient. If you are planning on purchasing a new vehicle to get around in your city, keep all these factors in mind.
5. Book a parking spot
The award of the biggest challenges of all drivers goes to… finding the right parking spot!
In a crowded urban area, it’s not just roads that are packed with vehicles. So are parking spots all over the city. Finding a place where you can leave your car safely and without getting a parking ticket can seem almost impossible, especially during rush hours in the morning.
As the experts from WhereIPark advise, “A good idea to solve this issue is to reserve a monthly parking spot close to your workplace or the area you travel to the most. Depending on what city you live in, you’ll probably have plenty of providers to choose from”. For example, monthly parking in Portland is available from several providers who rent such spots in different areas of the city.
Another idea is the one we’ve already discussed, to leave earlier and get among the first ones to the available spots.
6. Use technology to make your ride more enjoyable
Technology is so integrated into our lives. We use it for pretty much everything we do. So, why not also use it to make your driving less stressful?
A number of cool and innovative gadgets can make your car trips a lot more enjoyable and less stressful. For example, you can use GPS navigation software apps to get driving directions and road alerts. Another gadget is a high-performance Bluetooth speakerphone that allows you to take calls while driving without compromising your focus on the road. Feel sleepy behind the wheel? There are now gadgets out there that actually prepare you a cup of coffee right in your vehicle.