When rolling into the city, sometimes things can get hairy. You are in a tighter space, there is increased danger, and congested traffic can cause problems. This might add unnecessary stress, and in the worst-case scenario, cause an accident.
Here are 5 important safety tips. Implementing these ideas will help you cruise through any metropolis without worrying about traffic, bad drivers, or time constraints.
For more info, be sure to check out How RCC Puts Driver Safety First.
- Understand Traffic Waves/Jams
Traffic waves are what happens when traffic goes into a typical start-slow-stop-start-slow-stop cycle. As humans, we have slow reaction times. When a car ahead hits their brakes, it takes a second for us to brake as well. This means we have to brake harder to maintain a safe distance, and then the vehicle behind us would have to brake even harder to maintain distance.
Understanding that traffic waves are caused by slow reaction time in relation to safe stopping distance will help you realize the importance of maintaining distance. This can be hard to do when cars dangerously weave in and out around you. But remember to maintain a safe distance whenever and however you can.
For a visual explanation of traffic waves, try this interactive diagram.
- Stay Stress-Free
Remember what we said about cars weaving in and out dangerously? Those kinds of drivers will always be on the road, and sometimes they will tick you off. Combine your frustration with time constraints and slow traffic, and you’re bound to have a stressful trip.
Figure out what it is specifically that stresses you out. Maybe it’s bad drivers. It helps to know that you are one of the educated and experienced drivers, and the drivers that frustrate you are ignorant. Don’t let them frustrate the heck out of you, simply feel sorry for them.
- Be a Predictable Driver
Accidents are often caused by sudden movements, when drivers have no time to react. Steady and predictable movements give drivers plenty of reaction time, and will prevent you from being at-fault if an accident happens to occur.
You don’t have to be slow necessarily, but be cautious and avoid sudden maneuvers.
- Time Traffic Lights
This is both important for time management, and for avoiding accidents. It may also reduce your stress. Begin what is known as “forecast driving”.
As soon as you can see a traffic light, (even if it’s in the distance), note the color. Then make a brief prediction about what it will change to and when. Make a plan for yourself and execute it. For more info on time management, check out The Best Time Management Tips for Truckers.
- Expect the Unexpected
Although you are being a predictable driver and giving others plenty of reaction time, there are a lot of bad drivers out there that won’t return the favor. Expect the unexpected. Expect to be cut off by a vehicle. Expect to be stopped for traffic waves. Expect to be slowed down in the city.
This will take away a little bit of your frustration, and it will help you to be prepared to avoid accidents.
Remember, the goal is not to break a land-speed record. The goal is to get there safely and be a responsible, educated driver as an example for others on the road. Just do your thing, and do it well!