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Tips for keeping your cool when driving in the city

Schemes to make London's inner city roads safer for cyclists have drawn attention to the testing conditions all road users experience in urban areas on a daily basis.

A disproportionate number of fatal accidents involving cyclists and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) resulted in new rules being put in place, requiring lorries using central London roads to adhere to strict regulations. For more information click here.

City driving tips

Thinking about how intimidating busy city roads could be for young drivers or those with little experience driving in built-up, urban areas, Coverbox has put together some urban driving tips.

If you're nervous about using your car in any city centre, read on for some useful advice:

1 – Your attitude to city driving will make or break the experience you have. Expect an increased journey time and prepare yourself for the likelihood that you will get caught in traffic. If you mentally prepare yourself for this then, hopefully, you won't feel as frustrated when you do find yourself stuck in a queue.

2 – If you are new to the city or town you are driving through then you should check Google maps and plan your route ahead of time. Familiarising yourself with the city using street view is another good idea. If you're the type of driver that works better with physical landmarks than road names it can be especially helpful. (But remember, distracted driving is an offence, so once on the road, put your mobile phone away and keep your focus on the road.)

3 – It is good practice to always use your handbrake when stuck in traffic. If you've been stationary for a long time then turning off your engine is also advised. Not only is it better for the environment, it's better for your wallet too and will save on fuel.

4 - City driving offers many distractions but you must remain aware of other road users and pedestrians at all times. Never assume what other drivers are likely to do and be cautious. Keep a good distance between yourself and other vehicles whenever possible and leave extra room for cyclists.

5 – The stress of city driving can cause some drivers to become forgetful – always signal well in advance of a manoeuvre. There is a lot for you to focus on when driving in a built-up area; make your intentions clear well in advance of making a turn or changing lanes to help other road users steer clear around you.

6 – If you find you've missed a junction or you're in the wrong lane approaching a roundabout, do not attempt a risky last minute manoeuvre which may antagonise other road users. Continue along your route until you find a safe place to turn around.

7 – When focused on reading signs for directions and taking in the busy environment around you, it can be easy to forget to keep an eye on your speed. Speed limits change regularly within a city or town centre, so remember to keep an eye out for speed signage, both on signposts and on the roads.

8 – Turn off your music and concentrate on what's going on around you. Loud music won't help you focus when stuck in traffic on an unfamiliar road and using the controls can be a distraction (see point 2).

9 – Plan where you intend to park. Planning a specific final destination can be really helpful when tackling a city centre journey – if you just hope you'll find a parking space, you are likely to be disappointed in many towns, and this can only lead to frustration and distraction as you search for a place to stop.

Use your tracker box to find out how you drove

Finally, those drivers with Coverbox GPS tracker insurance can review their driving data on their Dashboard to see how they drove on specific journeys.

Using the information provided they can review their city driving, and hopefully change any areas which may be of concern, making their next city journey less daunting.

To find out more about tracker insurance, and how it can give you more confidence on the roads please click here.