There is a lot going on in the city that can impair the driver’s perception , while driving in the city, the busy urban environment can induce. Here are some of the effects that can come from driving in a dense urban area:

1. Overstimulation – 

When we enter an urban environment with dense buildings, narrow streets and elevated sidewalks, we experience a more stimulating environment than when driving through rural areas. 

This type of stimulation can increase drivers’ heart rates and heighten their anxiety levels as they attempt to avoid collisions on congested roads. 

It also makes it difficult to pay attention to things like pedestrians or cyclists who may have stepped off the sidewalk onto the street without looking first for cars before doing so.

2. Fatigue – 

Another foe of our driving moments is fatigue. 

The urban environment causes drivers to be exposed to an endless stream of information: traffic signals, pedestrians, bicycles and cars, construction sites, garbage trucks, and many more things that surround us as we drive through the streets of the city. 

The constant movement may cause drivers to be less attentive than they would otherwise be because they need to keep their eyes on the road and pedestrians stepping out into traffic without looking first will definitely put them at risk.

3. Distraction –

Distractions can cause fatal accidents. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers who were distracted were responsible for 18,670 fatalities, which accounted for 35% of all vehicle accidents in 2015. 

Distracted driving isn’t limited to drivers and pedestrians either:

 The California State Senate recently passed a bill that would levy a $100 fine for cyclists and motorists who don’t use hand signals; another bill would penalize motorists who tailgate cyclists.

4. Distorted Vision – 

The urban environment can be very confusing and even disconcerting to our eyes because of the constant movement of people in front of us. 

This movement can be very distracting to drivers, causing them to lose track of their surroundings and block their view of the road.

When a driver is stuck in a traffic jam or trying to navigate through two lanes of cars that are moving at different speeds, drivers may get frustrated and feel like they are being held back which can cause them to lose self-control. 

This loss of self-control is one example of how the urban environment may induce aggressive behavior while driving in the city. 

Aggressive driving is not always intentional though; some drivers think they have the right-of-way over others who may intentionally block their path by slowing down or suddenly stopping for no reason.

5. Unknown people –

Very few people are accustomed to the sights, sounds and smells of a big city. 

Drivers in new urban areas may feel like visitors in the city with very little information about where they are going, what is coming up ahead, or where the exits are. 

6. Unfamiliar surroundings – 

If a driver has lived in a rural area all his/her life and then moves to an urban environment, their unfamiliarity with their new surroundings can cause them to be overstimulated by the visual stimulation that comes from an extremely busy area full of unfamiliar places and faces. 

This can cause drivers to be disoriented, which can increase their chances of an accident.

7. Physical activity –

Driving in the city may cause drivers to be more physically active than they would otherwise be because of their need to constantly move from one place to the next (like trying to park your car or attend the meeting at the end of your walk). 

Therefore, driving in an urban environment can make a driver more physically active than he/she would normally be which could cause them to be more tired and less attentive.

 This is one example of how the busy urban environment induces aggressive behavior while driving in the city.

8. Induced by the lack of human connection –

Because cities are so busy, drivers have fewer opportunities to connect with other people. 

For example, when a driver is stuck in traffic, he or she has less time to interact with other people walking on the sidewalk.

 The lack of human interaction can cause negative self-perceptions leading to depression and suicide.

9. Modified behaviors –

Drivers taking to the city streets may act differently than they would in their normal driving environment due to the effects that come from an urban environment. Some examples include:

 Drivers may not be as patient on the roads –

 The constant movement of cars, people, bicycles and trucks in the urban environment can increase drivers’ stress level and irritate them. 

Drivers may become distracted because of this and lose track of their surroundings and drive into other lanes of traffic or on sidewalks just to get out of the city.

Drivers may drive faster than usual – 

The speed limit in most cities is much higher than it would be in a rural area so drivers will have less time to react if they are speeding through an urban area.

 The increased speed can cause drivers to rush through the streets without taking their eyes off the road for a moment which increases their chances of accidents.


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