Driving on the city road can be a painful exercise, especially during peak traffic hours. It is highly challenging to navigate your car through congested roads and the problem compounds if you are travelling through unknown territory. Particularly in India, you will definitely come across congested expressways, innumerable red lights, continuous construction work and many unfamiliar routes.
This makes drivers angry and run out of patience. However, there are certain measures, which if employed, can make driving in the city an easier exercise.
- Stay Highly Alert when Driving: City roads are congested with different modes of traffic including buses, trucks, cars, scooters as well as pedestrians. Hence, one needs to be highly alert and keep an eye in all directions, before taking turns. The alertness should be at its peak in junctions, as most vehicles move in simultaneously from different ends.
- Novice Drivers need to be extra cautious: Difficulty of driving is compounded if the person driving is relatively new or does not know the routes. It is very difficult reading signs on city roads while driving particularly when the road spreads out to multiple directions at junctions. Therefore, the driver needs to be highly vigilant during these circumstances.
- Give preference to small cars: If you need the car for communicating within the city on a daily basis, it is more sensible to go for a smaller variant. In peak traffic hours, the roads are always clogged; hence having a small car to negotiate the traffic is much easier compared to larger sedan-like vehicles. Also, the parking sites are customized mainly to entertain smaller cars.
- Automatic-Transmission the better choice: Though cars having manual-transmission offer better driving experience, it is advisable to go for vehicles with automatic-transmission in areas of higher traffic, though only a few such cars are available in India as of today. Prominent among them are – Hyundai Santro, Maruti Zen, and Hyundai i10 among others.
- The Mileage Factor: Since one is not expected to drive the car in high speed on city roads, one should try and maintain constant speed. This is because speeding followed by immediate slowing of vehicles impacts their mileage. Frequent starting and stopping also hits hard on the fuel economy aspect. Hence, one should drive at a constant speed, as much as possible, for saving fuel.
- Avoid Lane switching: Changing lanes frequently in congested roads increase risks of accidents. Agreed that you can reach your destination faster but you also increase the risks of colliding with other vehicles.
- Installation of Safety Features: It is always advisable to have safety features installed in your car. Normally, city driving would require features like car-alarms, anti-lock braking, theft prevention devices and starter disabling switch. This not only ensures safety while driving but also can help bring down the risks of theft of your vehicle.
City driving can be a bit of a risk. But by being alert, you can ensure performing the same in a safe manner.