New York City is an amazing place, and it is home to more than eight million people. This city is constantly on the move, and that is part of why it is known for its congested streets and aggressive drivers. If you’re going to drive anywhere in the five boroughs, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The Rules of Driving in NYC
Driving in New York City is unlike many places. Packed city streets, vast pedestrian traffic, and some unusual road rules are just some of the challenges you’ll need to be aware of when you’re behind the wheel here.
Unlike many other places, the rules that govern when you can make a left turn in New York City can be deeply confusing. These vary depending on factors such as the time of day. Pay close attention to street signs as you drive. Make sure that left is completely legal and you’ll be in the clear.
No Turn on Red
Making a right turn on red might feel utterly natural, but you’ll need to resist the temptation when you’re in NYC. Drivers are not allowed to turn right on a red light in New York City except under very special circumstances. Look for a sign that permits it or you’re risking a ticket.
There are many other regulations that are highly specific to New York City that all drivers must know, even if they are from out of town. Smoking in the car is not permitted if you have a passenger under eighteen with you. Getting caught in the middle of an intersection is both dangerous and heavily fined. Make that turn and make it as quickly as you can. Cell phones are also not permitted unless they’re hands-free or you’re making an emergency call.
New York is heavily reliant on public transit. Many New Yorkers don’t have a car or a driver’s license. Jaywalking is common here and rarely punished. Before you do anything else, always keep an eye out for stray pedestrians. This is true even when you’re nowhere near a pedestrian crossing. Or maybe especially when you’re nowhere near one.
Parking Your Car
The rules that govern parking in New York City, particularly in Manhattan, can be extremely complex. You might be tempted by the sight of an open spot. This is especially true if you see an entire street devoid of cars. Alternate Side Parking Rules means streets are cleaned on certain days and may be suspended on holidays. You should know exactly what’s going before you make any decisions about where to park.
Paying to Park
The good news is there are a lot of parking garages even in Midtown Manhattan. The bad news is they can be very expensive. This is a good time to examine the fine print. Know what you’re paying before you get out of the car. You’re likely to be charged more during rush hour.
Accidents and Other Issues
If you do get into trouble when operating a vehicle in New York City, don’t panic. You’re not alone. However, even a minor accident or misstep can be frightening especially if you’re from out of town. Stay calm and make sure you have as much information as possible on hand before you do anything else. Click here for information on how to obtain a car accident police report in New York City or Long Island.
Should something happen bear in mind that if you are fined at all, it will probably be a small file. Mistakes happen, and you’ll get past it.
If you are in an accident or you encounter any other problems or difficulties, getting help is vital. If your car is towed, find out where it’s being stored. You’ll have to pay a fine but you can recover your car. Pay close attention to all the little details and you’ll enjoy driving in this exciting world city.