Safety Meeting Series: City Driving Tips

city driving tips

How many of us would prefer to drive on the open road with traffic moving at a similar speed, no stops, few traffic jams, and even fewer accidents? Sounds like a dream come true.

In the real world, we drive through rush hour traffic on big interstates and in the middle of downtown when everyone is in such a hurry they forget common sense.

When you find yourself stuck in traffic that won’t budge or hoping the small cars around you don’t cause an accident, follow these tips to drive through the city, avoid an accident, and finish your route on time.

  1. Keep plenty of space between you and other vehicles. When you’re too close, you automatically have to drive slower than the person in front of you.
  2. When you merge into traffic, go the same speed or a little slower than the oncoming traffic. Speeding up will force you to stop or cut someone off. Slowing down should allow you to ease in without causing the person behind you to slam on their brakes.
  3. Try not to stop on the highway. Keep enough space between you and the car in front of you so you can roll down the road, even at a slow pace.
  4. Remain calm and courteous. Getting angry will only make you drive less cautiously and cause a potential accident.
  5. Letting drivers in front of you won’t waste as much time as you think. They may be able to get out of your lane faster if you make it easier for them to merge.
  6. Stay in your lane as much as possible. If you’re in the right lane as traffic is merging, move over to let them in. Once you’re past the on ramp, get back over.
  7. Change lanes slowly. Sudden movements cause accidents, no matter how big or small your vehicle is.
  8. Use your turn signals. Watch traffic carefully. If no one is letting you over, you may need to slow down until traffic passes or take the next exit.
  9. Expect the smaller cars to cut you off or stop in front of you. They do it in every city, in every weather condition, and in every type of traffic. Be prepared for it, and you’ll prevent an accident.
  10. Be prepared to stop at any point. If this means driving slower, do what you have to do to be safe.

When you’re out on the road, hauling a 53-foot trailer, you know the dangers of what could happen if you get into an accident. While everyone else should understand the rules of the road, they don’t. You’re a professional driver – this is what you do for a living. It may be annoying to compensate for drivers who don’t use their mirrors, follow too closely, and drive like they’re in a NASCAR race, but it’s what keeps you and everyone else safe. Following these tips will make you a better driver and help prevent accidents.


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