1. Give yourself plenty of time.
Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination, so you can take your time, slow down, and be calm and focused in order to deal with a lot of stop-and-go traffic, pedestrians, public transportation vehicles, and parking problems.
2. Reduce speed and be prepared to stop.
Slow down to the flow of traffic, but do not go over the speed limit. There are many more traffic challenges in the city so you need to be more aware of your surroundings. Look ahead and all around you, and watch out for any traffic hazard, predict any negative traffic situation, and be ready to react to a traffic situation in a timely manner.
Be prepared to stop. There are a lot of pedestrians in a rush and distracted, and you will need to be aware and ready to stop if a situation arises.
3. Watch out for potential traffic situations and traffic hazards.
City streets usually do not have shoulders, there is a lot of stop-and-go traffic, and there are a lot of other traffic activities such as cars or buses merging into your lane, so you usually do not have the option of quickly changing lanes or using the shoulders in case of a traffic situation or hazard.
So, when a traffic situation arises, you will need to be more prepared and react in the best way possible to avoid an accident.
The following techniques will provide you more reaction options in case of a traffic hazard:
4. Anticipate a traffic light change when approaching an intersection.
City streets tend to have a lot of short blocks with signal lights, and you need to be prepared to either stop or move ahead way before reaching the intersection with the stoplight.
Therefore, you should look far ahead and anticipate any signal light change and be prepared to react accordingly:
5. Stay in the lane with the least amount of obstructions.
In city streets, the right lane next to the parked cars and the left lane next to the parked cars on a one-way street are the lanes with the most obstacles and unfriendly traffic activities due to the following:
So, try to stay away from the lane with these types of risky traffic activities. Middle lanes tend to have a more stable traffic and less risky traffic activities, so try to drive staying in the middle lane.
6. Recognize a one-way street and carry out safe driving techniques.
Most of the city streets are one-way, so you should be careful not to drive the wrong way.
Below is information on how to recognize a one-way street:
When leaving a one-way street and making a turn onto another street, look for signs to see if you are turning onto another one-way street or a two-way street, and make sure that you do not go in the wrong way. When you are driving on a one-way street, use the right lane to make a right turn and use the left lane to make a left turn. You cannot make a U-turn on a one-way street because you will be driving the wrong way.
There are streets where a two-way street ends and becomes a one-way street or one-way street ends and becomes a two-way street; always look for street signs that inform you about the change.
If you notice a driver is driving in a wrong way on a one-way street, slow down and be prepared to change the lane or get out of the way – try to get the driver's attention by constantly honking your horn and using your headlights and if this does not help, get out of the way.
7. Learn to cover your brake.
Covering the brake is a safety technique that entails taking your foot off the gas pedal and holding it over the brake pedal (without pressing against the brake pedal), and being prepared to push the brakes and stop if needed. This technique provides a better reaction time to a traffic hazard.
Covering the brakes implies to hold your foot on the brake pedal, but not to push it unless you need to stop. Constantly pushing brakes while driving is called “Riding the Brakes.” If you push your brake pedal, your brake lights will stay on, and the cars behind you will get confused and stop, thinking that traffic is coming to a stop.
Use this technique when: