If you’ve moved to somewhere like Seattle recently, you’ve probably noticed a difference in public driving patterns and etiquette. Adjusting your own driving habits to your new surroundings can be quite challenging without help. Swerve Driving Schools can provide high-quality driving lessons and refresher courses to help you drive safely in urban environments.
Different Environment, Different Road Conditions
According to the Hartford Insurance Company, driving in urban environments can differ greatly from rural roads. Where fatal traffic accidents decreased by 15% between 2009 and 2018 in rural U.S. areas, they steadily increased by 34% in urban areas. And while speeding fatalities occurred at nearly the same rate, the rate of alcohol-related fatalities increased in urban centers between those years.
City driving can sometimes feel very different for new drivers, requiring a higher level of focus and attention. Swerve driving instructors can teach you valuable techniques for navigating high-traffic commutes.
How To Prepare for City Driving
1. Practice Defensive Training Techniques
Driving on urban roads requires a different mindset and a different driving technique. Our instructors teach defensive driving, a set of safe responses our students memorize when they practice driving. These techniques become invaluable in the high traffic and gridlock of big cities.
Our instructors have learned from experience that defensive driving techniques can save lives. We have found that even teenagers can drive more safely and responsibly when taught these important steps. Our instructors are trained and encouraged to connect with teens to better teach them the habits that will protect them on the road.
2. Set Down All Distractions and Focus on the Road
In 2021, the US Department of Transportation reported that 3,522 lives were lost due to distracted driving. At Swerve, we consider this tragic loss of life unacceptable as well as avoidable. Whether our students are teens or adults, we instruct them to focus entirely on the road at all times.
One of the lessons you’ll learn in class is to avoid all unnecessary distractions. This is especially true when driving in big cities. The fewer distractions inside your vehicle, the faster you’ll be able to react should something demand your attention.
3. Pay Special Attention to Pedestrians and Cyclists
Unlike in rural environments, urban driving requires drivers to pay close attention to large numbers of pedestrians. We teach our students how to identify different crosswalks and to give pedestrians a reasonable right-of-way. We also prepare our students in the classroom to make correct decisions based on complex circumstances like heavy pedestrian traffic.
Sharing the road with cyclists in big cities is another skill taught at Swerve Driving School. Cities often designate special lanes for cyclists right next to busy car lanes. Some lanes include special rules regarding bicycle crossings and crossroads that rural drivers might not have the opportunity to observe and learn.
If you’re unsure of the rules surrounding automobiles and bikes, our instructors can teach you everything you need to know to stay safe in cities.
4. Stay Calm
Some accidents occur from improper etiquette when merging or allowing other drivers to merge. This may be worse when road conditions are poor. Driving in heavy traffic can also cause stress and lead to rash decision-making.
At Swerve, we teach our students to stay calm under as many circumstances as possible. With proper preparation and defensive driving, we can teach you how to avoid many of the common causes of urban traffic accidents.
5. Use Navigation Aids in Unfamiliar Locations
Losing your way can cause stress while driving and make it difficult to follow correct driving techniques. You can rely on navigation aids such as GPS devices and phone apps to keep you in the right direction.
We teach our students to take as much time as needed before driving to study the route and research potential traffic troubles. This can prevent a lot of worry during your trip and keep you focused on the road. If you become lost while driving, resist the urge to distract yourself by checking your phone or map. Pull over to the side of the road and consult your device for directions if necessary.
Sign Up for Driving Lessons From Swerve Driving School
Driving in a big city differs from rural driving and may be difficult to adapt to. You have more traffic and pedestrians to worry about, and the road etiquette may be unfamiliar. If driving in the big city makes you nervous, consider contacting your local Swerve Driving School. We can teach you to navigate the tricky traffic conditions with confidence and skill.
Driving lessons from Swerve Driving School are uniquely designed to teach you the most important driving skills you’ll need for the road. Save time, money, and stress by learning from the professional and licensed instructors at Swerve Driving School. Schedule your class today.