Tips for driving in city traffic
Driving in crowded city traffic is something that a lot of us do extremely regularly, but also something that most take for granted quite easily. Just because the speeds are slower than when on the highways, it doesn’t make city driving any less dangerous. The key point to remember while driving in the city is ‘Situational Awareness’. WIth dozens of vehicles moving in close proximity to your car, it is critical to build a mental picture of exactly what’s around you at all times, while keeping your attention on what’s ahead. Use your mirrors liberally and turn your head to see into blind spots, and driving in peak traffic will be far less intimidating than it otherwise would be.
City traffic is a rather frustrating factor while driving through the urban landscape. While it might be tempting to floor it at every opportunity to make your journey through the hustle-bustle that much shorter, the faster you drive, the harder you need to brake when the traffic builds up. This not only makes for excessive wear and tear on you car components, it also adds a lot of mental strain. Keep a cool head, take it easy and driving automatically becomes better.
A sleight of hand
Using your turn indicators is not just a good idea, but is absolutely necessary not just when you’re turning into or out of bylanes but also when you’re changing lanes. Sometimes though, turn indicators just aren’t enough to warn everyone around you that your car is now going to change direction, especially for motorists who may be following too close behind you. Make sure you stick your hand out the window at least on right turns in such situations!
The right leverage
As is the case with general driving, it is extremely important to keep your car in the right gear at all times, especially in the city. Match your gears to the speed you’re maintaining so that you’re not revving too hard nor are dangerously close to stalling. As far as possible, do not ride the clutch because this will only wear out your clutch plates much faster and as a result will also hamper your fuel efficiency.
Chill out, take a brake
Slowing down or stopping in time is one of the toughest things to do when in bumper-to-bumper traffic. If you keep control you won’t have to panic-brake in the first place. Regardless, don’t be too jumpy with your brake pedal - always keep your braking smooth so you don’t catch following vehicles by surprise and avoid being rear-ended. Practice your braking on empty roads so when the time comes, you’ll know what to do in traffic!