While driving in a major city, you are likely to encounter traffic jams, bumper-to-bumper traffic, and large numbers of pedestrians and bicyclists. The following are safe driving tips to help smooth the way and reduce your risk of an accident.
Avoid Driving During Rush Hour
Peak rush hour traffic typically occurs from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Stay off city streets during these times whenever possible. Driving during rush hour can significantly increase the time it takes you to get from one place to another, and it can also increase your risk of a crash.
Be Alert for Crosswalks
High numbers of crosswalks are common in large metropolitan areas, particularly in city centers. Remember that pedestrians in a crosswalk have the right-of-way, so you will need to remain alert to avoid a pedestrian accident.
Stay in the Right Lane
Typically, the left lane is the fast lane, and slower traffic keeps right. Going with the flow of traffic, you will be traveling at a lower speed if you remain in the right lane with the slower, more cautious drivers.
Maintain a Safe Distance from Bicyclists
Bicycles are popular in larger cities, as they save the user from having to navigate a car in heavy traffic. Although cyclists are subject to the same traffic laws as drivers, many fail to obey them. Keep an eye out for bicyclists and maintain a safe distance. Never steer your vehicle into bicycle lanes on the far right.
Watch Out for Parallel-Parked Vehicles
Many metropolitan streets have parallel parking on both sides. Take extra care to avoid vehicles in the process of being parked and people entering and exiting parked vehicles.
Wait for Pedestrians at Traffic Lights
When you are stopped at a red light, be aware that pedestrians with the walk signal will be crossing the street in front of your vehicle. Some pedestrians may be slow getting across the street. Others may cross when they do not have the walk signal. Always look carefully both ways for pedestrians before proceeding after the light has turned green.
Be Prepared for Taxis
Most larger cities have numerous taxis that are notorious for creating obstacles in traffic. Taxi drivers often make sudden swerves to the curb in response to people hailing cabs. Keep your distance from taxis and watch out for passengers exiting or entering cabs parked on the side of the road.
Try to Remain Calm
It can be extremely stressful to drive in a crowded, major city, particularly for people who are not accustomed to it. Allow plenty of time for your trip, get help navigating from a passenger, and take a deep breath in stressful traffic situations.
Make Sure Your Auto Insurance Coverage Is Adequate
Driving in heavy traffic in a large metropolitan area increases your risk of an accident. No matter how safely and diligently you drive, you may be involved in a collision caused by someone else. Our knowledgeable agents at Serpe Insurance Agency in Chicago, Illinois will be happy to review your auto insurance policy to help ensure you have the coverage you need at the best available rates.