Even for the seasoned driver, New York City can be an overwhelming place to drive in your Manhattan car rentals. Whether or not you’re used to driving in a big city, the thought of facing Manhattan traffic can be very intimidating. And while city driving does present its own unique set of challenges in comparison to driving down a quiet highway, it is actually quite safe as long as you stay focused and try not to panic. To drive like a New Yorker is to stay aware and calm in busy traffic.
If the mere thought of typing “Manhattan car rentals” is terrifying to you, don’t worry—many residents and tourists drive through New York every day without incident. Despite the crowds, driving in the city is actually quite safe. Read these tips before you get behind the wheel of your Manhattan car rentals so you can enjoy worry-free travels.
Know the rules
Before you even book your Manhattan car rentals, take a deep breath and remember all the things you know about driving. You know more than you think, and cars work the same in New York City as they do anywhere else. If you want to drive like a New Yorker, you simply have to go with the flow.
If you’re truly stressed about the thought of driving in such an intense place, brush up on your driving skills. Drive through the busiest part of your hometown during rush hour to see how you do. Really want to drive like a New Yorker? Read up on New York state driving laws and city ordinances.
If you’re not used to driving around city buses, be aware of all city ordinances and laws. Stay out of the right lane if you’d like to avoid them since that’s where they will be stopping and going frequently. Never drive in a bus only lane if you can avoid it. Tickets are massive for this offense.
Adjust your driving
Take it slowly. The speed limit through most of New York City is 30 MPH, and for good reason. There will be a lot of slow moving and stopping. City streets are congested with cars, pedestrians, bikers and street vendors. It’s best to drive slowly and be aware of your surroundings.
Use your mirrors – a lot. People change lanes quickly in New York City. There is a running joke that there is probably a cab in your blind spot at any given time. Make sure you know who is next to you and behind you before you go to change lanes.
Speaking of cabs, be especially alert when they’re around (and they are always around). Taxi drivers don’t want to get into an accident any more than you do, but that doesn’t stop them from crossing several lanes of traffic when they see a potential customer or stopping and going suddenly. Staying aware of your surroundings will help you alleviate any taxi-related surprises. Also, note that even though passengers in cabs are required by law to exit taxis on the street side, the occasional passenger will open a door into oncoming traffic. Be prepared. And importantly, drive like a New Yorker – not a New York cab driver.
Know the terrain and traffic
Be aware of bike lanes. Cyclists are everywhere in Manhattan. Over the past several years, the miles of new bike lanes in New York has increased exponentially. Keep an eye out for bike lanes and respect them. When you park on the street, check for cyclists before you open your door. When you turn, make sure the intersection is free of bikes.
Traffic is always an issue in Manhattan. If you can avoid driving during the worst times you’ll save of stress. Manhattan is completely congested from 7 AM until 9 AM and from 4 PM until about 7 PM on weekdays. On the weekends, the busiest times are Saturday evenings. The most congested areas are close to bridges and tunnels. If you do need to drive during the rush hours, plan ahead and expect traffic delays. And remember: “Don’t block the box!” In other words, if you can’t get through an intersection entirely before the light changes, hold back and wait for the next green light.
When you park your car, be sure to check all the signs on the block to avoid getting a ticket. Street cleaning schedules are always posted, along with no standing zones and loading zones. Most blocks require you to pay for parking at a meter, which take cash or cards. If you can find a spot on the street in Manhattan that doesn’t require any payment, congratulations! At that point, you’ll have earned some bragging rights.
And finally… the horn
Last but not least, here’s a little tip on honking your horn: avoid it except in case of emergency. New Yorkers tend to fall into the trap of honking entirely too much, and as a result, people are extremely sensitive to it. Resist the urge to honk unless you absolutely must. Everyone around you will appreciate it.
Drive like a New Yorker in style when you book your Manhattan car rentals from Action.