Driving in crowded cities can be extremely stressful, especially for those used to maneuvering rural roads and suburban streets. Driving in large cities often requires greater mental focus and an eye for potential hazards. To help identify and prevent some of the most common urban crashes, we’ve put together these three tips for driving in the city.
Cities, even small cities like Birmingham, are busy places. A single missed turn can mean an extended detour. Bumper-to-bumper traffic can mean gridlock and frustration. That’s why the best thing you can do is slow down.
While it’s usually permissible to go a little faster on highways, you should stick to the speed limit in cities. When you go slow, you have a better chance at identifying potential hazards, like a jaywalking pedestrian. Going slow also gives you more time to identify unfamiliar street signs and confusing intersections so you don’t miss your turn.
Watch the Crosswalks
Every year, more than 100,000 American pedestrians are sent to the emergency room after being hit by a car. Many of these occur because drivers aren’t watching the crosswalks before they turn.
A driver may make a dangerous unprotected turn, not see the pedestrian’s “WALK” signal. Drivers can’t just look at traffic before turning, they need to check the crosswalk and the nearby sidewalk as well. If a pedestrian is in the middle of the crosswalk, you need to stop and wait for them to pass, even if you would otherwise have the right of way.
Avoid Left Turns
It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. Left turns make up 20% of all car crashes, even more in urban areas. The reason is simple: A left turn exposes drivers to cross traffic in three directions. That means more opportunities for crashes and driver error.
Unprotected left turns are especially dangerous because many drivers misjudge the speed of an oncoming vehicle and put themselves in oncoming traffic to avoid waiting at another light. Next time you need to make an unprotected left turn, consider making three rights instead. It could save you life and it might get you there faster during rush hour.
If you or someone you love were involved in a serious car crash, we can help. If you’d like an experienced Birmingham accident lawyer from Montgomery Ponder, LLC to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (205) 377-5004.