City driving tips

City driving tips 23rd February 2015

Driving in the city is like second nature for many people who do so every day, but for those who are not used to taking on the busier urban roads, it can be a daunting experiencing. Everything will seem more cramped and you'll have far less time to react and find your way. 

So what are the top tips for making sure you stay safe on the city roads? 

Keep to low speeds

Driving in the city can be a dangerous time, especially for those who are not used to it. Chances are that if you're driving through a busy built-up area during rush hour, then you won't really have time to build up any speed at all. However, if you're in the city at any other time of day, it's important to stick to the speed limits, and even drive slower to suit the way other cars are moving. 

According to the BBC, there can be up to 100 road casualties in London every day, but driving a little slower can help to reduce the chances of you getting caught up in a road accident. 

Look out for speed limit changes

Unlike being out on the open road, when you're in the city, the speed limit can change at any time, so this is something you need to keep a look out for. Most inner city roads these days will carry a speed limit of just 20 mph, but there are some that are 30 mph. You'll want to be aware of where these changes come in, though, because the last thing you'll want is the £60 fine and three points on your licence that will come with speeding. 

Junctions

Although the majority of crashes in the city will be rear-end bumps and shunts, junctions are also an area that can lead to accidents. Always give way to other traffic if you are pulling out of a junction and never drive on unless it is safe to do so. 

You should never drive through an amber light, but this is even more important when you're in the city. People thinking they have enough time and chancing their luck leads to a real danger of accidents in the city. If the light has changed before you get there, it's important to simply wait for the next green – always better to be safe than sorry. 

Look out for other road users

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that in the city there will be a great diversity in the types of vehicles that are on the roads. While you might drive miles without encountering anything other than a car on country roads, it's a different story when you get into an urban environment. 

The best example is cyclists. More cyclists are injured in the city than any other road user year after year, and this is mostly caused by drivers not looking where they are going. Cyclists can often appear in the blind spot, so it's important that car drivers are always double checking before they change lane or pull out to avoid the chance of someone being seriously injured. 

Other road users that can change the way you need to drive include buses, which can pull in and out at any time when they're picking up and dropping off passengers. And of course, don't forget to make sure that you are keeping an eye out for pedestrians crossing the roads. 

Posted by Danielle Barge