Driving on Congested roads!

 Get a car that fits

Whether you find street parking (when you’re running late, of course) is often a direct function of your car’s size. Even the paid parking lots seem to have spaces only for “compact” cars. If you do a lot of city driving, having a smaller car — in width as well as length — will not only make parking easier but will help prevent dings, dents and scrapes.

10 Best Compact Cars for the Money in 2018 | U.S. News & World Report

Think carefully about manual vs. automatic

Manual-transmission cars are fun, less expensive and often more fuel-efficient, but driving them in stop-and-go traffic can make driving stressful and tiring, particularly in hilly cities like San Francisco. So weigh the trade-offs between the two transmissions if you know you’ll be in town frequently.

Drive with mileage in mind.

Business Math: Calculating Mileage When Using a Personal Vehicle -

Don’t speed up just to slow down. If you lean on the accelerator when the light turns green, then again on the brake one street down, you’re hurting both your car and your gas mileage. Instead, go lightly on the accelerator and coast where possible. If you’re bumper-to-bumper, improve your fuel economy by slipping the car into neutral instead of constantly riding the brake. (This doesn’t apply to hybrids which typically shut off the gas engine when stopped in traffic.) And don’t try to get around the city on less than a quarter tank. Not only are city gas stations expensive, they’re hard to find.

Pick a lane and stick to it.

Car Images | Free Vectors, Stock Photos & PSD

Believe it or not, changing lanes frequently will get you there only a few seconds earlier, while greatly increasing your chance of a collision.

Remember to replace your cabin’s air filter.

City driving means smog and soot. Your air filter protects you and your occupants from breathing the worst of the fumes and the particulates they carry. By the time some stranger has written “Wash Me” on your rear windshield, it’s already too late for your lungs.

 Approach with caution.

Driving is made exponentially more difficult if you’re new to a city. Locals know which roads to avoid, but strangers do not. It pays to check ahead of time to see if construction has turned your chosen path into a virtual parking lot. If a two-lane interstate becomes an eight-lane expressway as you approach the city, get into one of the right-hand lanes. This allows you to slow down enough to read unfamiliar signs. If your exit sneaks up on you and you’re not in the correct lane, don’t try to cross several lanes of highway traffic to make it. Let it go. Then get off at the next exit and work your way back if necessary. If the next exit is a ways off, check a map: Triangulating to your destination might be faster than doubling back on the highway.

 Use navigational aids.

The Best Car GPS (Review & Buying Guide) in 2020 | Car Bibles

Good navigational aids are useful at any time, but particularly if you’re traveling to a new city (or an unfamiliar part of it).

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