As per a recent survey conducted in 2018, for every thousand Indians, 30 owned a car for either personal or passenger use, and the number seems to grow day-by-day. With the increasing number of cars (especially on the city roads), traffic congestion has become a major concern for many drivers, and it is having a negative impact on their performance on the road. However, if you follow some basic tips as given below, you will surely be able to enjoy your ride and navigate your way through the traffic quite easily.
7 Tips To Drive Your Car Safely in the City
- Choose Compact Cars
If you haven’t purchased a car yet and are still wondering about your options, we would recommend you to select a smaller car over a Sedan or SUV. Small cars allow you the flexibility to drive through narrow lanes effectively. This is especially helpful for you to sneak around during heavy traffic or when in crowded areas.
You must also make a wise choice between manual and automatic cars. Manual cars are known to be more pocket-friendly and fuel-efficient in comparison to automatic transmission cars. However, taking into account the heavy city traffic, driving a manual car can be more tiring than an automatic car.
- Carry With Yourself Updated Car Documents
This is one rule which applies even when you are driving outside the city limits. You need to ensure that you are carrying an authentic driving license, Pollution under Control (PUC) certificate, Registration Certificate (RC) and valid car insurance. In today’s digital age, all major car insurance companies in India have a website over the internet where you can check for the car insurance price and buy online insurance for your car. You can opt for long-term car insurance or short term car insurance, based on your insurance requirements.
Failure to carry valid car documents can lead to paying a hefty fine. Hence, it is advisable to always carry car documents with you before you hit the road.
- Heed to Signals and Sign Boards
The basic understanding of traffic lights is – Green: Go, Yellow: Pass with Caution, Red: Stop. However, we often see reckless drivers who do not follow traffic lights. You must follow the traffic lights the way you would follow the prescription from a doctor. Being obedient in both cases can save you from potential danger.
You must also pay similar attention to the signboards. For example, if a signboard says No U-turn, then you must not do so as there might be a vehicle coming up at full speed from the opposite end. Signals and signboards are present for your benefit.
- Stay Prepared for No Parking Space
To locate a spot for parking your vehicle in the city can sometimes be as difficult as differentiating colours in the darkness. If you are planning to visit someone, ask them if they have a parking space available for you to park your car. Alternatively, you can also check for “Pay and Park Services” near your destination of visit.
You need to be careful with the parking boards as some spaces are allotted on “Only for Weekdays” or “Only for Weekends” basis. Your car might be towed away if you fail to follow the correct instructions.
- Keep an Eye Out for Pedestrians
Foot over bridges and traffic signals are for pedestrians to cross the main roads safely. However, this rule isn’t followed by everyone. In cities, everyone is always in a rush to reach somewhere and hence, are bound to take a chance and break the rules.
Thus, you need to have an acute presence of mind and watch out for pedestrians while driving on the road.
- Avoid Rush Hours if Possible
Travelling in your vehicle during the peak hours in cities can be frustrating as it takes double the usual time. If it is possible for you to push your travelling time to non-peak hours, you must do that. As a general thumb rule, you can remember that 1-2 hours before and after the standard office timings are considered rush hours.
In India’s major metropolitan cities, rush hours can be anywhere between 7.30 am to 9.30 am in the day and 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm in the evening, where you can witness heavy traffic.
- Pay Attention to Bikes and Public Transport
Even when you opt for a compact car, there are vehicles on the road that are smaller than yours. Yes, this is about bikes and other public transport mediums such as auto-rickshaws. Even though traffic rules apply to all equally, these vehicles have the flexibility to rush through traffic jams without considering lane discipline or other rules.
You need to take special care of taxis and auto-rickshaws and maintain a healthy distance while driving as they tend to hit their brakes suddenly just to get a potential customer.
While you drive on the city roads, it is important that you stay calm and avoid getting distracted by your surroundings. Driving a car in a city requires both patience and practise, and in case of heavy traffic, you must keep your vision focused on the road ahead of you. Ensure you have your seat-belt on all the time and follow all the rules to enjoy a safe ride in the city.