Auto accidents happen all the time, with recent statistics demonstrating that literally millions of crashes and collisions occur nationwide in America on an annual basis, and while many cases involve drunk drivers or reckless behavior, some crashes are pure accidents, caused by difficult conditions or a moment of inattention.
Essentially, the truth of the matter is that auto accidents can happen to anyone. They can occur on rural roads and city roads alike, they can happen at day or night, they can take place at any time of year, and even if you’re a safe and sensible driver who follows the rules and sticks to the speed limits, you could still find yourself in danger.
This is why it’s important for everyone to always look for ways to improve their driving skills, never underestimating the importance of safety and responsibility when sitting behind the wheel. City driving, in particular, demands high levels of focus and concentration, and this guide will cover some of your best options to become a smarter city driver.
Stick to the Speed Limit
Speeding is a very common traffic violation in urban environments, and surveys show that 9 in 10 people admit to speeding, even though they know it’s dangerous, as the faster you drive, the longer it will take to slow down, and the higher your chances, therefore, become of colliding with another vehicle or even a pedestrian stepping out into the street.
This is why it’s so important to stick to the speed limit, especially in cities, because you never know when someone might try to cross the road or if the car ahead of you might suddenly need to slow down, stop, or make an unexpected turn one way or another. There are so many variables, and if you’re driving too fast, you won’t be able to respond to them.
Keep an Eye on Pedestrians
Arguably the biggest difference between rural and urban driving is the presence of sidewalks and pedestrians on urban roads. In the city, you have to worry about what pedestrians are doing, as well as keeping an eye on cars and other vehicles, and this can present new threats, hazards, and risks of accidents for drivers to worry about.
As you drive along, your priority should be on the road ahead of you, but it’s also important to check sidewalks now and then, watching out for any pedestrians who might be about to step out in front of you. A lot of accidents can happen this way, and it only takes a little lapse in concentration for such accidents to occur.
Avoid Road Rage
Road rage is a major problem all across the US, and it’s particularly prevalent in big cities. Cities like Los Angeles and Austin commonly feature in the top 10 lists for worst cities affected by road rage in America, and there are many other cities, from east to west, that see huge numbers of road rage-induced accidents annually.
Of course, it’s perfectly reasonable for someone to get frustrated by the recklessness of other road users, especially if they see someone breaking the rules or behaving in a dangerous way. However, two wrongs don’t make a right, as the old saying goes, and giving in to road rage will only increase your own chances of having an accident.
Distracted driving causes thousands of fatal accidents every year, with countless other accidents due in part or entirely to distractions too, and it’s so important to try and minimize the presence and risk of distractions in your own vehicle while driving on any kind of run. Again, this is particularly important in cities, as you have a lot of different signs, vehicles, road markings, and people to focus on.
Distractions in your car might include your smartphone, your radio, in-car entertainment systems, GPS devices, other passengers talking to you, loud music, food, and drink, or loose items rolling around the floors. Try to keep your clean and tidy and never make use of your phone while driving, under any circumstances.
City driving is an essential part of daily life for many people, but it can clearly be very dangerous too. Keep these tips and methods in mind the next time you set out on city streets in order to keep yourself safe, and if you really want to reduce your risk of urban accidents, consider making use of your city’s public transit systems like buses, trains, and light rail services.