If you’re used to living in or navigating around a big city, you likely won’t find yourself intimidated by the street systems of other large cities that you visit. But if you’re from a smaller town or haven’t spent much time driving around a downtown area on your own, trying to find your ways around a city you’re unfamiliar with can be a bit scary and stressful. Luckily, there are a few basic principles you can apply to any city that will make driving around much easier. To show how, here are three tips for driving in the downtown area of a city you’re visiting.
Go Easy On The Accelerator
Whenever you’re driving in an area you’re unfamiliar with, be it in a big city or not, it’s smart to drive more defensively and to go easy on both the gas and the brakes. According to DrivingTips.org, it’s especially smart to give yourself plenty of time to react to things around you when driving on a downtown area because there will be lots of other cars, pedestrians, bicyclists, buses, and so much more. If you’re driving too fast or aren’t giving yourself enough time to really take in what’s surrounding you, it’s so easy to get in a car accident. So to ensure that you’re able to drive around safely, make sure you’re taking it easy with your lead foot.
Don’t Rely Too Heavily On GPS
For navigating through the streets of a new city, it’s a good idea to have a general idea of where you’re going and what to look out for before you hit the road. While most people now navigate with GPS, Joanne Helperin, a contributor to Edmunds.com, reminds us that you can still get lost or turned around even when using GPS, especially if you lose connection or there are road closures that haven’t been accounted for. Because of this, you should try to have at least some idea of the cross streets you’re looking for and some landmarks you can keep an eye out for so you know approximately where you are even without GPS.
Plan Ahead For Parking
Not only do you have to worry about driving on crowded streets when going to a city’s downtown area, but you also have to find a place to park your car once you get to your destination. Depending on what city you’re visiting, there might be a big shortage on parking, which can make finding your way even more challenging. To help with this, Rebecca Goldfarb, a contributor to ensurance.com, recommends that you plan ahead for parking by researching some options beforehand. This will help you know what some of your options for parking are as well as what type of costs you’ll be looking at once you find a parking space.
If you’re nervous about driving around a new city, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you build your confidence on downtown streets.