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Five Tips for Driving in the City

Car speed drive fast on the city road at daytime


Do you live in the city or must drive into the city from time to time? Even for those of us who drive in the city all of the time, it can be a challenge. A recent list of the best city cars on the eTags.com blog is a good read if you are thinking of buying a new vehicle in the near future. Some things to consider on this front are the need to parallel park in the city and how a SmartCar, as opposed to a sedan or large pickup truck, might be a better option.


Beyond picking the “right” car for city driving, there are other things you can do to make the commute not just more manageable but also a little more enjoyable. In addition to picking the right car to drive into the city, here are a few other tips to help you navigate the city safely:


Avoid city driving during rush hours if you can: If you need to make a trip to the city but you have a little more flexibility, wait until the morning and late afternoon rush is over. This way, you’re less likely to encounter traffic jams, aggressive drivers, and other undesirable traits of driving at those times. If you have a 9 to 5 schedule at work, consider getting to work earlier to avoid the RUSH and perhaps engaging in a late afternoon activity right after work such as going to the gym to avoid the late rush.


Pay attention: You should never text and drive, but this is especially the case in the city where your undivided attention is needed at all times.  Cyclists, pedestrians, taxis, and bumper-to-bumper traffic are some of the things to watch out for. Remember, distractions don’t only come in the form of a smart phone. Be cognizant of all types of distractions such as interaction with passengers or even just plating with the settings of your dashboard screen.


Use a Map: We don’t mean a paper map. Even if you know the city well, a map app is your friend. You can get an overview of the traffic along your route and get information on viable alternate routes that will help you avoid the traffic. Remember to only use while you are stopped and set it to speaker notifications if you choose a designated route for the app to guide you through.


Stop Completely at Streetlights for Turns: Even if you can turn on red or the light is green, stop and look both ways for pedestrians. Both motorist and pedestrians have a responsibility to be aware of their surroundings, but as the motorist it makes sense to exercise more precautions at intersections and throughout the city in order to be mindful of pedestrians of all ages.


Take a Deep Breath: City driving can be stressful. However, you will only make it worse if you begin to panic or stress. Take a deep breath, stay attentive, and take solace in knowing that you have control of your emotions. Stress or panic while driving will only lead to aggressive or careless driving.