Summer in the city needn't be stressful

This week's motoring tips from the IAM's head of driving standards, Peter Rodger, are looking at how to cope with driving through busy city roads. With forward planning and careful approach city driving needn't be something to fear.
  • Plan your journey before setting off. If you are travelling through an unfamiliar city, use Google maps or street view to get a sense of your journey.
  • Try to look as far ahead as possible to prepare for what you need to do next. For example, you may need to slow down or get into the correct lane where you are approaching a junction.
  • Travelling through busy cities can cause motorists to drive and ride erratically – be alert and watch out for sudden or unexpected manoeuvres by other road users.
  • Watch out for lanes and roads that are closed to cars. Cycle lanes, one way streets, advanced cycle stop lanes and bus lanes all require close attention. Make sure you're aware of when bus lanes operate too – other vehicles using a bus lane during operational times will be fined.
  • When sharing the road with cyclists and motorcyclists give them extra space, particularly when overtaking. If a motorcyclist is trying to get past in heavy traffic, let them – don't hinder their progress if you are stuck.
  • Watch out for bus lanes on your inside which may have motorcyclists, cyclists, buses and taxis travelling faster than you might expect.
  • If you can see traffic ahead increasing avoid changing lanes constantly, ease off the accelerator and avoid tailgating. The more often you change lanes the more chances of an accident occurring.
  • When stuck in traffic make sure you are not blocking any junctions or pedestrian crossings.
  • If you have missed a turning or an exit don't panic. Carry on and find a suitable area where you can turn back, or continue with your journey until you find an alternative route.
  • As always, check your mirrors regularly, signal in advance to make a turn or change lanes, and watch out for pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists at all times.

Peter said: "There are plenty of things that could potentially distract you on a city journey and as ever, preparation and your frame of mind are they key factors that will get you through you it incident free. Stay calm and don't compete with others on the road – and you will end your journey as relaxed as when you started it."


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