5 Ways to Avoid Accidents When Driving in Big Cities

We can all admit that the city of Missoula isn’t exactly the most bustling metropolis in the world. In fact, even the largest city in the entire state of Montana (Billings) only has a population of about 125,000. Of course, that’s actually great news for those of us who don’t enjoy the traffic congestion and other risks and hassles that come with the big city lifestyle. Small towns and medium-sized cities are pretty easy going in terms of driving difficulty. With that said, if you’re planning a trip to a big city any time soon, follow these driving tips to stay safe:

1. Check Your Blind Spots When Changing Lanes

According to the San Diego injury lawyers at Pine Salomon, changing lanes is statistically one of the most dangerous driving maneuvers. Many urban drivers are reckless and instead of slowing down to let you over when you have your blinker on, they’ll often speed up to prevent you from getting in front of them, or try passing you so that you’ll be behind them when you do pull into their lane. If you haven’t driven in big cities before, you’re probably not accustomed to such rude driving behavior. The best way to stay safe is to check your mirrors and blind spots every time and change lanes slowly.

2. Maintain a Proper Following Distance

Following too closely behind the driver in front of you is another easy way to cause a collision on congested city streets or freeway. Try to keep at least one car’s length of distance for every 10 mph that you’re driving. For example, if you’re driving 40 mph then you would want to leave four car lengths between you and the next car to allow for braking distance.

3. Don’t Assume Other Drivers Will Stop or Yield Appropriately

With so many different kinds of people in big cities, you’re bound to encounter the lawless type who simply have no patience or respect for the rules of the road. They’ll run through red lights and stop signs, cut you off, run you off the road, suddenly pull out of driveways directly into the street, and make turns without using their turn signals. Pay attention to the movement of the cars around you and don’t expect them to do the right thing every time.

4. Don’t Get Distracted By Your GPS or Smartphone

Digital distractions are another leading cause of car accidents. Try to preview your route and memorize it before departing instead of repeated glancing down at your device.

5. Don’t Drive During Rush Hours

Look up the primary rush hours for the city you’ll be driving in and try to stay off the road during that time frame if you can help it. This tip alone will save you from traffic jams and the fender benders that often come with them. Luckily, Google Maps calculates drive time for rush hour.

6. Take a Defensive Driving Course

Ultimately, to be a great big city driver you’ll need to be ready to respond to the mistake of others. Taking a defensive driving course can make you a safer driver on any road, especially in metropolitan areas.