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Driving a car in an urban city can get extremely overwhelming. While some rules are followed strictly, the seasoned city drivers practice some unwritten-yet-mandated rules as well. Make sure you are updated with these basics before you hit the road.
If you are yet to buy a car and still pondering upon the options, consider a hatchback over a sedan or SUV. Small cars give you the flexibility to manoeuvre your car through narrow lanes effectively. You can easily sneak your way around especially in the traffic and crowded areas. Also, choose wisely between the manual gears and automatic gears. Manual transmission cars are fuel efficient and pocket-friendly as compared to automatic transmission cars. However, considering the traffic in cities, driving manual cars can be tiring compared to automatic cars.
This rule does not apply to driving only in cities. Make sure you have a valid driving license, Registration Certificate (RC), Pollution Under Control (PUC) and a valid car insurance policy wherever you drive your car. You are subject to pay a hefty fine should you be found not possessing the last two documents mentioned. A PUC can be bought from most petrol pumps or authorized centres. You can get car insurance quotes and buy/renew car insurance online. Driving across the city exposes you to many on-road risks and hence, having a valid car insurance safeguards you.
Green: Go, Red: Stop, Yellow: Cross with caution. This is the basic understanding of traffic lights, but often not followed by reckless drivers. Follow traffic signals like you would follow a doctor’s prescription. Both can protect you from disasters coming your way. The same applies to on-road signboards. If the sign indicates no U-turn, then don’t. For all you know, a vehicle is coming in full speed from the opposite side.
Finding spot to park your car in the city can get as difficult as distinguishing colours in darkness. If you are visiting someone, ask them beforehand if they have a parking space or where you could park or you may look out for ‘Pay & Park’ signs. Also, carefully read the ‘Parking’ signboard for any specific rider like ‘Only on weekdays’ or ‘Only on weekends’, lest your car be towed.
Traffic signals and foot-over bridges are for pedestrians to cross safely on the crossroads. But not everyone follows that. In cities, everyone is in a rush to reach somewhere on time, so, many of them are willing to take a chance and break the rules. You can expect someone to pop-up suddenly on the divider trying to go to the other side of the road.
Going from one place to another during peak hours in cities can take double the time and can be frustrating. If your work can be pushed to non-peak hours, do that. Generally, 1-2 hours before and after standard office timings are the rush hours. So anywhere between 7.30am to 9.30am and 5.30pm to 7.30pm can be the heavy traffic hours.
What is even compact than a hatchback car? Bikes. Indian roads are dominated by two-wheelers. Although the same traffic rules apply to them as well, they have the flexibility of zipping through the traffic jams without any consideration for lanes and other rules. Also, be on the lookout for taxis and auto-rickshaws. Keep safe bumper-to-bumper distance from them, as they often tend to pull their brakes anytime to get a potential customer.
City driving is a completely different ball game. It is important that you stay calm, put on your seatbelt and follow the rules at all times to be safe.
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