If you’re used to driving in the suburbs or less-crowded rural areas, you might grip your steering wheel in fear if you have to take your car into a big city. Because there are more people in the city, there are also more driving hazards and chances that you might be involved in an unfortunate incident. Just as you likely needed tips on finding the best auto loan, you might need suggestions on protecting your car and your sanity while navigating your way through an urban jungle.
Know Where You’ll Park
One of the worst things is parking your car only to come back to it later to discover that it’s been sideswiped or bumped into without the offending driver leaving a note. Do yourself a favor and get an idea of the parking situation in the city. Parking garages are good for protecting your car from the elements and other drivers alike, but that protection and peace of mind can come at a cost, making it a good idea for you to find out if there are any specials to take advantage of.
Drive for Other People
There’s no doubting that drivers are more distracted than ever, but when you’re driving in such close encounters like you do in the city, you’ll have to keep an especially close eye on the activities of other motorists. And because there are more pedestrians in cities, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for people crossing the street with their attention glued to their phone screens or with earbuds in their ears, which can also prove a distraction. Remain constantly vigilant and aware while driving downtown and other congested areas.
Look for Alternative Transportation
Rather than drive every day, which can drive you crazy if you constantly find yourself stuck in traffic, look for alternate transportation, including light rails, buses, ride-sharing services and the like. Not only do you not have to drive your car every day by doing so, you can also actually take in the city rather than devote all your attention to driving while you’re on the road. Another great thing about alternate transportation is that you can do your part to save the environment and keep the roads clear.
Fine-Tune Your Parallel Parking Skills
If you don’t already know how, do yourself a favor and learn how to parallel park. Parallel parking is quite common in the city, but drivers who know how to parallel park well isn’t always so common. Get in some practice if possible, and learn how to park quickly, as you don’t want to cause a traffic jam trying to ease into a parking spot. Another good idea is to drive a smaller vehicle, if possible, as these are much easier to park and don’t require as much room. Cars with backup cameras can also help you with parking and avoid the car behind you.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
You’ll also want to be cautious while your car is parked. No matter the neighborhood, always park in a well-lit area at night to better avoid a break-in. Hiding your valuables and locking your doors is also a good idea. Be sure to remain alert while on your way back to your car so you don’t become an easy target. Even if an area isn’t known for its criminal activity, you have to bear in mind that crime knows no address; you don’t want to become a first victim, or a victim at all, for that matter.
Pay Attention to Signs
Also related to paying attention to where you are, be sure to check street and lot signs where you park to see if there’s street sweeping, restrictions or the like before leaving your vehicle. Parking might only be allowed during certain areas, or you might have to go into a specific business to park in a specific lot. Not only is getting your car towed an unpleasant inconvenience, it can cost you a pretty penny to have your car released, which is money you don’t need to waste.
There’s a lot to see and do in the city, and you’re sure to enjoy it all a lot more if you know your vehicle is safe. Be sure to use these tips the next time you’re driving in a metropolitan area.