Driving around your hometown sometimes feels so easy that you could do it while blindfolded. Navigating an unfamiliar city, however, is a whole other affair. Without the force of habit to guide our every move, driving in a new place can be taxing and even dangerous. Here are four tips to keep in mind while traveling in an unfamiliar city.
Don’t Become Dependent on Your GPS
Sometimes having a GPS on your phone makes you feel like you don’t really need to know where you’re going. Just type in the address, follow the directions, and you’ll get to your destination, easy as pie. Right?
Wrong. There could come a time when your GPS system will malfunction or fail to give adequate directions. When this happens, it is easy to panic and become flustered. This in turn makes you a dangerous driver.
Take a look at an old-fashioned map before departing, and get a feel at least for the general gist of your route. That way, you won’t have to rely entirely on your GPS.
Put a Passenger in Charge of Navigation
Whether you’re using a GPS, a map, or handwritten directions, navigation is an inherently distracting task for a driver. If you’re behind the wheel, then your focus should be on the road ahead of you, not the device in your lap. If you have a passenger, put them in charge of navigation. They can read the map or follow the GPS, leaving you to do what is your only crucial job: driving the vehicle in the safest way possible.
Keep an Eye on the Signs
You are probably so familiar with the speed limits, stop signs, and rules of the road in your hometown that you haven’t looked at the signs in years. You know when you have to stop and when you need to yield without having to read the sign that’s telling you. In an unfamiliar city, however, the signs are the only means you have for determining what rules are in place. Being from out of town is no excuse for speeding or blowing through a stop sign. The signs are there for a reason. It’s your responsibility to read them.
Don’t Drink and Drive
Driving under the influence of alcohol is always a reckless, stupid, selfish, and irresponsible decision. It is even worse in a new city, where you need to be at your most alert to drive safely. You don’t want to end your trip with a desperate call to a dwi attorney, so make smart decisions.