Whether you just moved to a big city or are just visiting for a much-needed weekend getaway, driving through a metropolitan city can be just as stressful as it is exciting. From countless construction zones to roadblocks, crowded crosswalks, immeasurable traffic, and never ending redlights, driving through a city for the first time can be a daunting experience.
Not to mention if you are not used to city life, the culture itself can be intimidating. You never know if one wrong turn will bring you through a dangerous neighborhood or if the spot you parked in is a legal parking zone. Luckily, there are plenty of tips you can follow to help to ease the stress and make driving through a big city into a pleasurable experience.
So whether you are planning a vacation to your closest city or making the move from a rural neighborhood to a downtown apartment, here is everything you need to know to safely drive through a big city.
Prepare Yourself For Dead Stopped Traffic Jams
If you are from the suburbs or a rural area, you may have experienced some traffic jams from time to time but nothing to the extent of the traffic that occurs in big cities. Regardless of your city, you are bound to experience bumper-to-bumper traffic at one point or another. It is essential not to get frustrated and understand that you will get there when you get there. You should also pay close attention to other drivers on the road as they may not be as cautious as you.
Worst Traffic Clogged Cities
According to USA Today, the most congested cities are as follows:
- New York
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
Avoid Driving During Rush Hour
Of course, sometimes it is out of your control, but if it is possible, try to avoid driving during rush hour. Usually, in most cities, peak rush hour can be between 7:00 a.m and 9:00 a.m and 4:00 p.m and 6:00 p.m. Most traffic jams occur during these times and will not only increase the time it takes to get to your destination but will increase the likelihood of an accident. In addition, dealing with traffic paired with encountering seasoned city drivers can be intimidating and lead to frustration and anxiety.
Stay In The Right Lane
If you are not used to city driving there is no need for you to fly by other cars. Instead, stay in the right lane, where you will be surrounded by other cautious drivers. In addition, navigating your way through a city you are unfamiliar with can be quite confusing. Since a majority of your exits will be on the right, staying in the right lane will ensure you won’t miss any crucial turns.
Watch Out For Pedestrians
On top of heavy traffic, big cities are filled with pedestrians. From people walking to riding bikes, it is essential to be on high alert at all times. It is also crucial to remember that pedestrians inside a crosswalk always have the right of way. At the same time, people riding bicycles do not always follow traffic rules. Unfortunately, if you were to hit them, you would be at fault. Therefore you should always be on the lookout for bicycles and be aware of dedicated bike lanes.
Watch Out For Taxis
Although services like Uber are taking over, taxis are still prevalent in major cities and create obstacles for regular drivers. For instance, if a taxi is waved down by a pedestrian, they may make a sudden stop or swerve onto the side of the road. If you are not high alert, there is a high chance you could end up in an accident. At the same time, it is best to keep a safe distance from taxis and watch out for passengers entering and exiting a cab on the side of the road.
Watch For Parked Cars
Many streets in big cities have parallel parking on both sides. This makes the street a lot narrower compared to other roads. It is crucial to drive slowly and watch out for cars pulling out of spots and people opening their doors.
Have Proper Insurance
It is no secret that city driving is stressful and can increase your chances of being involved in an accident. Therefore it is essential to make sure your car insurance is up to date. If you are looking to change your policy, consider comparing your rates to find a plan that fits your needs.
Take It Easy
Driving in any city can be a stressful experience regardless of how experienced you are behind the wheel. The most important thing is to take it easy, stay calm, and be alert at all times.