If you’ve never driven in a large city before, the traffic in New York City can seem daunting. However, if you can stay off the road when everyone leaves work and pay attention to the points listed below, you should be successful and face a limited number of honks.
The thing to remember whether you’re walking or driving in NYC is that everyone has somewhere to get to and the goal is to get there safely. Pedestrians are, for the most part, mindful of the lights and crosswalks. However, as a driver, you need to be watching for pedestrians who aren’t at the crosswalks. According to iDrive Safely, you should do your best to stay a safe distance behind the car ahead while sweeping your gaze across your field of vision to the front. If you see someone on the sidewalk who’s checking traffic, be aware that they may be planning a dash across the street, and be ready to slow or stop if needed.
Cyclists are very aware of cars in New York City and many of them may be working as couriers, so they’re likely in a hurry. To make sure that you and they are safe on the road, whenever you need to turn across a bike lane, always look for cyclists because they can come up behind you very quickly. If you signal to move over or turn across bike lanes, do so quickly so that the cyclist can gauge when the lane will clear. Also, once you’re parked, have one more look around to make sure you don’t open your door into a bike lane. According to Callaway & Wolf, not looking out for bikes can result in inadvertently “dooring” them, which can result in some pretty serious damage and injury. Dooring a cyclist forces them to either swerve into the car beside them or can bring them to a full and violent stop.
Sightsee Once You’re Parked
New York City is loaded with amazing sights, and it can be very tempting to stop and gaze up at landmarks. However, while standing on a sidewalk and staring up at a Broadway marquis can cause a sidewalk traffic jam, sightseeing from your car can get people hurt, according to The Globetrotting Teacher. Pay attention to your map, find a parking space and get out of the car for the safest views.
NYC is a major international city and moves fast. You can drive safely there if you stay focused, stick to your route and keep an eye out for other travelers. Pedestrians, drivers and cyclists all have somewhere to go. Do your part to get there safely.
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