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Margaret Embry
Margaret Embry
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How to Stay Safe When Driving in Urban Areas

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2007 New York State saw 660 urban traffic fatalities. In order to decrease this number, all urban drivers should be aware of safe driving skills. Urban driving is full of congestion where too many cars, too many people, and little room for driving error can lead to frustration and sometime hostility. Patience and understanding safe driving skills can allow you to reach your destination safely (and sanely). Below are some tips to safely navigate though urban areas.

1. Plan ahead: Leave yourself more than enough time to reach your destination. Remember that weather conditions can have a big affect on travel time and congestion.

2. Concentrate: Give driving you full attention. Hang up your cell phone, quit eating, quit looking in the mirror and pay attention.

3. Yellow means yield: Resist the urge to go barreling through a yellow light. This aggressive and dangerous behavior puts yourself and others at risk.

4. Give fellow drivers a break: Let people in when they’re changing lanes or merging into traffic. Don’t take something irritating the driver does next to you personally.

5. Stop for emergency vehicles: When an emergency vehicle is flashing its lights and/or sounding its siren, state law requires all vehicles to move to the right and stop. This is true regardless of whether the vehicle is coming toward you or approaching from behind.

6. Buckle up: Always wear your seat belt and encourage your passenger to also.