How to Drive Safely Around NYC

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The prospect of driving in New York City can be a dreaded and nerve-wracking task. The constant traffic where you don’t move at all for what can feel like hours. Pedestrians who walk out in front of cars without paying attention to traffic signals. Construction that backs up traffic for miles and turns four lanes to one. City vehicles that halt traffic or appear behind your car and force you to make panicked decisions.

There is a lot to be aware of when driving in NYC, especially when you are a new driver. However, by following these tips you might be more likely to survive driving in New York City.

Watch Out for Pedestrians Jumping Out in Front of You

Pedestrian injuries and deaths from city motorists are up this year compared to 2015.

In order to prevent any accidents with pedestrians, be aware of your surroundings at all times behind the wheel. Make eye contact with pedestrians who may be attempting to risk crossing the street when you have the light to proceed. You also can lightly tap your horn to warn pedestrians who may be distracted or have earplugs in.

According to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero View crash data map, there have been 68 pedestrian deaths and 5,968 injuries from vehicles in 2016 alone.

Don’t Panic Around City Vehicles

City vehicles provide various important services for NYC, but can also make newer drivers anxious. Sanitation trucks can cause traffic by blocking intersections and streets, which can make impatient drivers try to create their own path around the vehicle, or in worst cases lash out violently at the sanitation workers. When you encounter a sanitation truck that is blocking traffic, stay in your vehicle and calmly wait until the truck clears the road to proceed.

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Ambulances can also impede traffic and even cause accidents with drivers. As of June 2016 there have been 1,056 ambulance collisions compared to 806 in 2015, according to the New York Post. If you are stuck in traffic and there is an ambulance behind you, the first thing you should do is not panic.

Pull to the right as far as you are able to and stop your vehicle to let the ambulance go by. If you are at a red light and there is an ambulance behind you, pull to the right in the intersection as much as possible as long as you don’t interfere with approaching traffic.

How to Deal with Taxis

NYC taxi drivers can be difficult to deal with while on the road. Taxis stop short on the street to pick up customers as well as dart in and out of traffic in order to get to their destination as quickly as possible which can lead to an accident if a driver is distracted.

If you encounter an impatient taxi driver, do not challenge them. Instead, let them pass. Reduce your speed to allow two car lane’s distance between you and the car in front of you in case a taxi tries to move in front of you, according to the New York City Department of Motor Vehicles.

How to Drive Alongside Buses

NYC has many famous landmarks and sites that tourists from all over the world come to see. Tour buses and double-decker buses provide transportation so that people can see these sites but they can also cause traffic issues. Tour buses move very slowly, especially when picking up people along a route. They also make wide turns, which can frustrate someone driving behind them.

City buses can also slow down traffic flow and cause drivers to make rash decisions in order to get around them. If you are behind a bus, try to remain patient. Move into another lane only when it is safe to do so. Also, do not attempt to dart past buses, because you can risk hitting pedestrians or getting into an accident.

No Right on Red

A majority of the 50 states allow right turns during a red light, but in NYC it is illegal unless a sign is posted. An illegal right turn on a red light comes with a hefty fine between $100- $300, according to the New York City Department of Motor Vehicles. If you find yourself contemplating making a right at a red light, do not do it unless there is a sign that states otherwise.

Driving in NYC can be quite difficult, especially if you are not used to it. But by following these tips, your trips around the city could be safer and easier. However, accidents do occur even when you being cautious.

If you are injured in a car accident that was the fault of another, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact our car accident attorneys at Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to find out if you have a case today.

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