Whether you regularly drive in a crowded city or you plan on visiting one soon, you need to know what you’re getting into before you get behind the wheel. New York, LA, Chicago, and similarly sized cities are very different to drive in than your average US city. So, before your next trip out on the road, let’s go over the top tips for driving in busy cities.
Firstly, remember, if you’re new to the area, you’re going to look like a deer in the headlights to experienced drivers. So, take things easy, and just try to avoid any potential areas of confrontation.
If you’re unfamiliar with the area, driving slowly, and making your way around, then you need to be in the right lane. There’s no reason to get out of that lane unless you need to turn left. Slower traffic should always go to the right, and this will help you avoid collisions with faster-moving drivers.
If you can at all help it, try to not drive during rush hour in a major city. It can be difficult to avoid this, sometimes, but it’s worth taking pains to avoid altogether if you can help it. The sheer number of cars on the road is enough to make you nervous just looking at stopped traffic. Add in the pedestrians and cyclists and you’re certain to be overwhelmed with the amount of activity.
Speaking of pedestrians, make sure you’re always giving them the right of way in crosswalks. It’s worth keeping an eye out for all manner of pedestrians, as they’re likely to be constantly weaving in and out of the roads. It’s important to remember that you should never swerve around pedestrians walking in crosswalks. Even if people are jaywalking, stop to avoid hitting them: it’s best to just take it slow in these areas with heavy foot traffic.
Give cabs some space, too. They might swerve off to the curb at a moment’s notice to respond to hails. As such, you want to make sure you’re not following them too closely. This is especially true for people who are riding in the right lane, as that’s where cabs looking for fares tend to spend their time.
Ostensibly, cyclists are supposed to follow the same rules as cars. However, you’ll often encounter cyclists riding between lanes, on sidewalks, or through red lights. In these cases, it’s best to just avoid them and give them their space, even when they’re in the wrong. You won’t gain anything by getting into a confrontation with a cyclist over the right of way.