Driving in NYC is probably best avoided. The streets are packed full of cars and pedestrians, making it one of the worst cities to drive in on earth. If you’re visiting for a few days, the subway will be your best friend, saving lots of stress.
Nevertheless, there are instances where you have to drive in NYC. Perhaps you’ve recently moved to study here and need to drive to work? Maybe you’re in the middle of a road trip across the US, and NYC is one of your stops? For whatever reason, people still drive in New York City. Before you get behind the wheel, here are some interesting and important points:
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Stay alert at all times
You will spend most of your time bumper to bumper with other drivers in the city. To make matters worse, you also have pedestrians weaving in and out on scooters, bikes, skateboards, etc. If you’re not 100% alert, you’ll almost certainly get in an accident. The next thing you know, you’re on the phone to some respectful car accident lawyers and your trip to NYC has cost a fortune. It’s suggested that you avoid driving if you’re not feeling alert as you’re asking for trouble.
Avoid parking on the street
Street parking in NYC is one of life’s biggest myths. Some say a unicorn is rarer than a free parking spot! There are all sorts of rules surrounding street parking as well, like staying a certain distance away from fire hydrants. It’s best to avoid street parking altogether and find the nearest parking garage. You may pay more, but you won’t waste an hour creeping along various streets looking for space.
Don’t risk it at the lights
You’ll see plenty of cross-sections in NYC with traffic coming from each direction. This creates a box in the middle where traffic lights control who can move across. Often, these boxes are quite large, and the lights can change quickly. As a result, NYC locals will tell you never to risk getting across. If you see the light is about to change from green, just put your foot on the brake and wait at the lights. You may get some honks from behind, but you avoid blocking the box. That will get you even more honks, as well as a hefty fine.
Small cars are the best
You’re fighting an uphill battle if you choose to drive a large car around NYC. The roads aren’t meant for big cars, not to mention the stop-start nature of the traffic. It’s far easier to drive a smaller car, preferably an automatic one. You don’t want to deal with all the gear changes as you trundle along in the traffic.
Driving a car in NYC isn’t impossible, but it can take some getting used to. No matter how long you’ve had a license, you’ll find this city to be far different from any others. Using the subway is still the best way of getting around, so try to use it as much as possible. But, if you simply have to drive, keep these tips in mind.