City Driving - Photo Copyright:  ambrozinio

Which is More Dangerous – City Driving or Freeway Driving?

On a DMV written knowledge test, many test takers assume that freeway driving is more dangerous than city driving because of the speed involved. In fact, you are more likely to be involved in an accident when driving in the city.

Read the following article to get some valuable driving tips.

City Driving for a New Driver

For a new driver, city driving can seem quite daunting. It’s more intense and complex than any sort of beginners practice like driving in an empty parking lot or on an empty road. All the laws, rules, and tips taught in driver training class or learned from a driver’s handbook will come into play.

Cities are where people live and work so of course city driving involves the added complication of having many other vehicles and pedestrians around. On a busy road, there may be traffic in every direction, cars stopping to turn, or cars pulling into the street from either side. City driving also often involves cars traveling in both directions on two-way streets which creates a need for a driver to have a 360 degree of awareness of what’s going on.

Traffic is also denser in cities, and being surrounded by cars can add more pressure for a driver. New drivers may be worried about messing up a turn or parking endeavor, missing a sign, or just generally embarrassing themselves on the road. But they should not let other drivers bully them into doing something unsafe or out of their comfort zone as long as their comfort zone suits the traffic laws. Driver merely need to stay aware of their surroundings and of city traffic laws to make it through busy city areas safely.

Pedestrian Safety

Along with the many traffic signs, lights, and other vehicles to be aware of there is also more foot traffic in the city compared to that in an empty lot or rural area. Pedestrians need to cross streets to get where they need to go, and they may do so legally or otherwise. Pedestrians must be given the right of way when crossing at crosswalks and intersections since they are more vulnerable than someone in a car. It is the responsibility of the driver to be attentive and careful.

By law, a driver must – at all times – exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian, even when it is the pedestrians duty to yield.

Pedestrians need to look out for themselves and cooperate with drivers to ensure the safety of everyone. It is the responsibility of the pedestrian to not do anything that may put themselves in danger or otherwise panic a driver.

Just as a pedestrian should never assume a driver sees them, the driver can never assume that the pedestrian sees their car unless they make eye contact. Pedestrians should make themselves aware of traffic and make eye contact with drivers to ensure they are seen before heading into the street. The biggest risk for pedestrians is at night or during low visibility conditions, especially if they are wearing dark clothing. It is never safe for a pedestrian to assume they’ve been seen.

Learn the Rules of the Road and Follow Them

While city driving rules and traffic regulations make driving more complex and require more thinking, they exist to keep everyone safe. All collisions are preventable if drivers cooperate and follow the rules, lights, and signs.

Your state Driver’s Manual or Driver Handbook is an excellent source of information on rules and safe driving techniques. By combining a study of the manual with our online DMV practice tests, you can make sure have the knowledge you need to be a safe driver.

Stay Attentive and Aware

It’s also important that drivers stay attentive and aware of their surroundings, yielding to the right of way of both other vehicles and pedestrians. If everyone, including those not in cars, limits distraction and stays alert while on busy streets, the risk of danger is substantially lowered.

City driving is less intimidating to the driver who has confidence in his knowledge of driver safety. Educate yourself. When driving in the city, don’t be in a hurry, be aware of other drivers and pedestrians, stop when you’re supposed to stop, yield when you’re supposed to yield, make safe lane changes, and all will be well.

Author: Joy R. Calderwood
Photo copyright: Ambrozinio