If you tow in a big city or urban area, you know how difficult city driving can be. The city presents a host of driving hazards – rush hour traffic, narrow streets, a high volume of cars, pedestrians, and people in a hurry. Each of these hazards becomes more dangerous when you add a tow truck to the mix. To help you navigate busy city streets, we’ve got some tips for urban driving.
1. Keep a good following distance.
City driving comes with many unexpected stops and slow-downs. Having a good following distance between you and the car in front will minimize the chances of having a rear end collision (and by the way, accidents can cause your tow truck insurance rates to increase by a lot.) Make a habit of keeping a safe following distance.
2. Be prepared to stop.
People like to zip around in the city, especially smaller vehicles that come up to slower-moving trucks. Be prepared for people to cut you off or slow down suddenly. Respect the speed limit and don’t speed when you’re in the city.
3. Handle merges properly.
Take it easy when you merge. Slow down and merge smoothly. Using a zipper pattern (one car from the left goes, one car from the right goes) helps keep things moving, so let your car in and then proceed safely.
4. Be careful when you change lanes.
Changing lanes is tricky. Check your mirrors, do your shoulder check, and use your turn signal. Then, safely change lanes. Don’t use sudden movements or try to change lanes too quickly.
5. Use your turn signals.
Always signal when you’re going to change lanes or turn. This alerts other drivers that you’re going to be slowing down and changing your course.
6. Check your rearview and side mirrors.
Keep an eye on your mirrors so that you’re aware of the situation around you. Are any cars passing you? Are their cars close behind you or on your left or right? Be aware so you can get out of a hazardous situation before it causes an accident.
7. Plan ahead for turns.
If you’re going to make a turn, plan ahead and get into the appropriate lane with plenty of time. It’s best to avoid sudden, panicked lane changes. Give yourself lots of room to get over so you can make your turn.
8. Be careful at intersections.
Do try to stop when the light is yellow if you can safely do so. The minutes you might save aren’t worth running the red light and possibly getting a ticket or being in an accident.
Also, when the light turns green, be cautious before charging ahead. Someone might have raced through the intersection to try and beat the red. Take your time and make sure the intersection is clear.
9. Be aware.
Stay alert for the actions of other drivers on the road. If there are any cars that are weaving or acting unsafely, try to get out of the way and stay away. Though we’d like to think that everyone will follow the rules of the road, such is not always the case.
10. Be patient.
City driving can be stressful and frustrating, and it can try your nerves. Do your best to stay relaxed and calm, even if other drivers cut you off, zoom around you, or honk. Losing your temper will only make it worse. Your driving won’t get any better if you let yourself get angry.
Driving in the city is a whole different ballgame than driving in the suburbs or the country. It can be very stressful, and there’s a lot of noise and hustle and bustle. Adding a tow truck to the mix can make it even more difficult. That’s why it’s important to slow down, leave a good amount of space between you and the car in front of your wrecker, and make a habit of driving defensively.
Are you looking for tow truck insurance? We can help you out with that. We can help you save money on your rates by shopping for your insurance. We’ll get you multiple tow truck insurance quotes – all you have to do to get started with your quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.