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How to Drive Safely in New York City Traffic

Dec 31, 2018 | Car Accidents

Congestion and odd rules make it difficult for even the most seasoned drivers to navigate New York City, let alone for a tourist or novice city motorist. Following some simple tips can help you stay safe should you decide to brave the task of driving in the city.

Were you recently involved in a car accident? If so, speak to one of our NYC car accident attorneys to find out how we can help.

1: Avoid It, if You Can

One of the most important, if counterintuitive, tips about driving in New York City is to avoid it if you can. Once you get into the city, you might find that you’re better off taking the subway or a cab to get to where you need to go. Driving is rarely worth the hassle if you have the option of avoiding it, and parking fees add up quickly.

2: Pay Careful Attention to Road Signs

Sometimes, driving in the city is unavoidable. If you choose to drive yourself to a destination, keep an eye out for road signs. For example, New York City is one of the few places in the United States that doesn’t allow you to make a right on red unless a sign says that you may.

Additionally, many intersections prohibit left turns during certain times of the day. The intention is to decrease traffic congestion. If a police officer catches you making an illegal turn, you will receive a ticket.

3: Be on the Lookout for Pedestrians

Pedestrians own the roadways in the city. It may be illegal to jaywalk, but many people do, anyway. Be wary of people in the road, even if you’re not at an intersection or near a crosswalk.

4: Plan Your Parking

Parking in the city is notoriously confusing. One parking structure might charge twice as much as one located just across the street. The best way to park in NYC is to plan your trip before you go. The NYC BestParking website is a one-stop resource for your trip. Simply enter your arrival and departure date and your desired location, and you’ll be able to compare parking prices and choose the best option for your needs.

5: Be Aware of Municipal Vehicles

City and government vehicles provide important services like sanitation and transportation of pedestrians. Even the most seasoned drivers may experience anxiety when these vehicles weave in and out of traffic, making frequent stops. When you encounter a municipal vehicle such as a bus or sanitation truck, give it a wide berth and wait for the right opportunity to proceed.

Ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars also frequent New York City roadways. Remember, it’s your responsibility as a driver to pull over and wait for emergency vehicles to pass when their lights or sirens are on.

6: Know How to Deal With Cabs

Taxi drivers in NYC have a legendary reputation for being aggressive. They stop on the street often to pick up fares and brazenly dart in and out of traffic so they can get to their destination as quickly as possible and pick up a new fare.

It’s best not to challenge an impatient cab driver. Let them pass whenever possible and reduce your speed to allow a greater distance between you. This decreases the chance of an accident if they try to move in front of you. Remember, the car in the rear is most often at fault for an accident for failing to assure a clear distance.

Driving in New York City can be stressful, but drivers can take steps to reduce their chances of being in an accident. By observing these driving tips, you’ll soon be navigating the city like a pro.