Safe City Driving Tips

Jim Luff
Posted on May 2, 2016

Driving in large metro cities can be daunting for the most seasoned drivers. If you don’t live in a city such as Los Angeles, New York or Chicago, driving in downtown traffic can be even more challenging. There is no special training for driving large buses or super-stretched Hummer limousines in city traffic. Even driving a sedan can be difficult.

Here are some tips to help you navigate in the big city.

  1. Understand Traffic Waves: When a light turns green at intersections to the left and right of you, it creates a “wave” as all of the cars come at once in your path. Watch for the wave and follow in behind the wave rather than trying to blend in or worse yet, beat the wave.
  2. Prevent Traffic Jams: Don’t get caught in the middle of an intersection on a red light. If you can’t clear the intersection on a green light because there is nowhere for you, stop at the limit line and wait for the light to cycle.
  3. Stay Calm: Don’t panic. Stay calm and alert to everything going on around you. Don’t let people rush you with their honking horns.
  4. Don’t Hurry: There are only a few seconds can possibly be saved while driving in a city, so it is pointless to try to hurry. Accept the traffic situation as it presents itself.
  5. Be Predictable: Sudden movements cause accidents. Steady, predictable movements give others a chance to react.
  6. Time Traffic Lights: Timing traffic lights so that you don’t have to stop, will reduce stress and equipment wear.
  7. Expect the Expected: Getting cut-off by people pulling away from the curb or out of driveways should be expected. The same goes for opening car doors in your path.
  8. Compensate for Bad Drivers: Take pride in the fact that you are a professional chauffeur. Not everyone drives for a living or thinks about safety the way we do.
  9. Teach Others: Help spread the word about stopping in the middle of an intersection or opening car doors into traffic lanes. Everyone should be educated to help each other.
  10. Don’t Clog: Do not stop in intersections, in front of the driveway, in the middle of an alley, or anywhere else that will cause a clog to the normal flow of traffic.

Related Topics: accident reduction, chauffeur training, driver safety, driver training, Jim Luff, Safety, Shop Talk blog, traffic assessment

Jim Luff Contributing Editor
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