Five Tips for Getting Around the City Safely When You Don’t Have a Car
There’s no denying that having your own car is convenient. It enables you to go anywhere you want at any time, but that doesn’t mean owning a car is all it’s cracked up to be.
Owning a car can be extremely expensive, and it can be a hassle, especially if you live in a big city. You have to find a place to park your car, and you may spend a lot more time leaving it in the parking garage than you do actually driving it.
There’s no need to drive a car if you don’t want to! There are plenty of ways you can get around the city when you don’t have your own ride. Just make sure you know how to stay safe as you make your way across town.
Learn How to Drive a Motor Scooter
Four-wheeled vehicles aren’t your only option if you’re looking for a way to zip around the city on your own time. Motor scooters can be a great solution! They are more affordable than vehicles, they’re easier to park, and they’re easier to store, all while cutting down on your commute time.
The bad news is that riding motor scooters have some of the same dangers as riding motorcycles. If you decide this method of transportation is right for you, you should consider taking a class to ensure you know how to operate a scooter correctly. Safety gear, like a helmet, is a must, and you should always be looking ahead so you can avoid road debris, potholes, and other dangers that could compromise your safety.
Know the Road Rules for Cyclists
Biking is a great way to get around in the city, but it can also be dangerous. That’s partially because motorists aren’t always courteous of cyclists, but it’s also because many cyclists don’t ride on the road safely.
You absolutely must follow all the rules of the road that cars are required to follow. That means stopping at stoplights and stop signs, as well as signaling every time you turn.
Additional rules bicyclists should follow include:
- Increase your visibility by wearing reflective materials and bright colors
- Avoid wearing dark colors, especially if you’re riding at night
- Ride at a predictable pace when riding in the street
- Wear protective equipment, like a helmet and a pant strap
Be Smart About Using Uber and Lyft
Using ridesharing services, like Uber and Lyft, can be a great way to get around the city too. Unfortunately, it also has the potential to be unsafe because you never know who is picking you up.
There are plenty of things you can do to make sure you’re safe when you get into someone else’s car. For example, a few tips that Uber recommends include:
- Double-checking the license plate before you get in the car
- Inspect the driver photo with the person in the front seat
- Ask the driver to confirm your name
- Sit in the backseat
- Tell your friends and family where you’re going and what you’re doing
Get Familiar With Your Local Public Transit System
Every city has at least one form of public transit. From buses to subways, you can get nearly anywhere in the city. The trick is to get familiar with your transit system so you feel confident using it.
Practice taking your route to work on the weekend so you aren’t stressed about getting to work on time, download a schedule on your phone so you always have it and consider getting a refillable bus pass. If safety is a concern, make sure you ride with a friend, especially at night.
Walk Without Distractions
Nothing beats walking when it comes to getting around a large city! Just don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s always safe. It can be a dangerous way to get around too.
Most accidents with pedestrians happen because walkers are distracted. It’s easy to enter the crosswalk when it’s not your turn to cross the street, but it can also increase your chances of walking into permanent structures, and it can cause you to run into other walkers. Stay safe on the sidewalk by walking without distractions, which means not using your phone.
You don’t have to have a car to get around the city safely! You have many options to get to wherever you’re going. Just make sure you follow these tips to stay safe when you’re on the move.
By Susan Melony