Driving in the big city is a job in itself. Whether you are trying to fight through traffic, parallel park or manage your way through expressways, the city offers a whole new host of driving obstacles not seen on the open road. If you thought a congested highway or driving in the rain was bad, just wait until you have to a maneuver through an alley that’s a one-way street. Thankfully, we’ve come up with five tips that will make driving as well as living in the big city easier and more bearable.
Make Sure Your Car Fits
When it comes to city driving—size matters. Most of the lanes are designed for compact cars as well as the street parking so taking to the streets in a Hummer or Jeep Grand Cherokee could prove to be a problem. This also matters when it comes to high traffic times as when the streets are packed, driving in a large clunker can be dangerous among the small and speedy cars zipping around. So keep this in mind if you are moving into a city from the suburbs.
Manual vs. Automatic
Although manual transmissions are less expensive and more fun to drive, when you are in the constant stop and go of the big city it can prove to be a hassle. This can be especially stressful for driving in hilly cities such as San Francisco. If you feel up to the challenge and drive a lot you may find yourself catching on quickly. However, keep in mind the ups and downs of the situation.
Know Your MPG
Driving in the city can eat up a lot of your gas, especially since you can spend most of your time on the road sitting in traffic. It’s important to make sure you have a car with decent to high city mpg. Hybrid cars are beginning to spring up in cities more and more due to the great gas mileage and the combination of the gas and electric engine being perfect for the city traffic
Park-Assist Is Your Friend
If you don’t know how to parallel park in the city you can be in for a rude awakening. Most street parking is parallel parking and if you are someone who tends to back up traffic for miles as you try to squeeze into the one spot left, then finding a vehicle with park-assist is an important necessity. While the feature can be expensive, it can save you some serious stress and hassle.
Pick A Lane and STAY THERE
While weaving in and out of traffic may give you the illusion of getting somewhere quicker, in all reality in the city you are going to be stuck behind someone no matter what lane you are in. So pick a lane and stick to it so you can avoid a collision as well as not test other driver’s patience.