Everything you need to know about learning to drive in the city


learning to drive

*This post contains affiliate links 

I learnt to drive in heart of the city of Cape Town and let's just say it was a pretty crazy experience and I feel it gave me a pretty good grounding for feeling comfortable in most places and have since driven across South Africa, France and all the way from the West of Scotland to Cornwall. It was certainly more intensive than driving quiet country roads, especially when navigating 4 lane roads, taxies and rush-hour commutes. 

Different driving settings will present you with different challenges no matter what country your in. When driving on a rural lane in the UK you might encounter a herd of cows crossing the road, and in a town or village you might be met by school-run traffic, but city driving is a whole other kettle of fish. If you’re learning to drive in Birmingham, for example, then you’ll expect to hit some heavy traffic, have to adapt to one-way systems and stay alert, since situations can change very quickly.

If you live in a city and are about to start learning to drive, then you’ve got a lot to look forward to, and we’re sure that you can almost taste freedom. However, city driving can be daunting and though your instructor is the best person to advise you and will calmly guide you through everything you need to know, prior to that first lesson, here are some things that you’ll need to know about driving in the city.

Your mirrors are your best friend

As we mentioned previously, situations can change very quickly when driving in the city — pedestrians could step into the road, cars could tailgate you in busy traffic and you might be required to change lanes. Because of this, you should never underestimate the importance of your mirrors, since you’ll need them to make well-informed decisions before you move or break. Your instructor will stress the importance of checking your mirrors, signalling and then making your move, and this is more important than ever in a city.

Although your mirrors are one of the most useful tools on your car for making observations of your surroundings, you should use them alongside checking your blind spot. This is because your mirrors don’t actually give you a full 360-degree view and you can’t risk being caught out when a hazard enters that small area that you can’t see.

Don’t ignore those road signs

There are some road signs that you’ll see in the city that you might not see anywhere else. For example, the city is rife with bus lanes and this means that there could also be bus lane cameras. Therefore, if you should drive in a bus lane you could receive a fine. So, make sure to check all signage when entering a city, as well as looking at the markings on the road, which will inform you whether the lane is fit to drive in or not.

City speed limits can vary greatly — one minute you could be driving on a road where the national speed limit applies and the next you could hit a 20mph zone. Stay vigilant when it comes to those speed limits, since you could easily be caught out by a speed camera. Of course, once you’ve passed your theory test, you’ll be well informed about traffic signs and what they mean, so don’t ever ignore them, they’re there for a reason!

Plan your route or use a sat nav

In the city, your driving needs to be accurate, so if you don’t know where you’re going, the key to success is to plan your route ahead of your drive or use a sat nav. This is important because if you’re in the wrong lane in heavy traffic, then you’ll most likely be unable to correct yourself since it probably won’t be safe or viable to move over.

Using your sat nav will also ensure that you’re on the fastest route in heavy traffic, as it may adapt your journey and divert you, should a quicker route present itself.

The key to driving in a city is to take your time, stay alert and most importantly, stay calm. You won’t be able to make good decisions if you’re stressed, so take a deep breath, listen to your instructor and you’ll be a pro-city-driver in no time.

city driving

No comments

Post a Comment

Lovely comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...