Tips To Stay Safe When Driving In A Big City
Whether you live in a city, or you’re visiting from a more rural area, we can all agree that when population density increases, driving can often become quite aggravating. Nobody intends on slowing traffic; it just happens. And when tempers flare, accidents are more common.
It turns out that those driving in St. Louis are a bit more prone to getting in those accidents. A study conducted in 2016 ranked St. Louis as the second most accident-prone city in the US.¹ If you drive in the city often, or travel there occasionally, here are a few safety tips to make sure you don’t add to those statistics.
6 Ways to Avoid a Crash While Driving
- Avoid the Rush Hour – If you live in a smaller town, or a rural area, rush hour traffic may only last for a few minutes if it happens at all. But when thousands of people are commuting into the downtown area every morning, and out of it every evening, the streets clog quickly. If possible, avoid driving in the city from 7am to 9am and from 4pm to 6pm.
- Look Far Ahead – There’s a general rule of driving called the 12-second rule. The idea is that if you watch for road hazards 12 seconds ahead, you will be more likely to avoid collisions. Don’t focus on the road that far out, but scan that far out to make sure you have plenty of time to react to anything that otherwise may have sneaked up on you.²
- Keep Right to Keep Slow – Multiple lanes usually means multiple speeds of traffic. You see it on the interstate; the left lanes are usually for passing and for faster traffic. But this concept applies to city driving as well. If you aren’t familiar with the streets, keep right where the slower and more cautious traffic usually stays.
- Watch for Cyclists – In 2017 St. Louis was designated as a Silver City for bicycle friendliness.³ Cyclists need to obey the same rules of the road as cars, but being smaller and slower they’re often overlooked. Pay attention to those pedaling on two wheels and let’s let everyone arrive safely.
- Drive Smaller – City driving means narrower streets and smaller parking areas. Unless you have no other option, driving a smaller vehicle will mean you can maneuver much easier than cruising in a large SUV or truck.
- Utilize a Driving App – There are dozens of hands-free GPS based apps to help you navigate the roads. Many now give you a heads up on traffic, construction, accidents, and even police activity. Choose one that is easy to use and easy to follow, become familiar with it, and let it help you navigate unfamiliar streets.
We Are Here to Help
Accidents happen even when we are being careful. If you or a family member have been involved in an accident that was someone else’s fault, then know that we are here to help you navigate through these difficult times. Fill out our contact form, or simply give us a call at 314-396-7622 for a free consultation and let us help you get back to life as normal.