10 Things To Keep In Mind When Driving On NY Highways

December 29, 2020

When driving on New York highways, you may have to learn the rules of the road, where to find affordable parking and the major links to Manhattan or the other boroughs.

No matter how skilled a motorist you are, it’s a good idea to stick to the basics of driving safely. 

Make sure to pack all essential items like your driver’s license, vehicle tools, vehicle insurance, spare wheel, road tax, and the car manufacturer’s manual.

Also ensure the tank is full, check tire pressure and that your phone is fully charged. 

Here is a list of useful tips to get you going:

10. Buckle Up

In the event of a crash, being buckled up helps keep you secure and safe inside your car, while the worst that can happen is getting thrown out completely which can be deadly.

Seat belts are the best defense against distracted, aggressive, and impaired motorists. 

9. Obey The Speed Limit

Speeding may lead to highway police issuing you a speeding ticket. It’s important to stick to the speed limit even if you arrive at your destination one hour late.

Penalties for speeding range from a minimum of $45 and a maximum of $150 for up to 10 mph over, and $180 to $600 for more than 30 mph over.

8. Keep An Eye For Trucks

Many businesses in New York rely on heavy trucks to haul goods from one end of the state to the other and truck drivers often drive for many miles without enough sleep. Keen an eye for trucks because if one truck loses control and enters your lane, it may be the end of your trip.

7. Read Highway Signs

Make sure to read highway signs well. This will make you alert and aware of the upcoming narrow sections, uphill and downhill areas, railway crossings, bridges, schools, and children’s crossings. Reading highway signs may sound simple but it helps save lives.

6. Manage Fatigue

If fatigue sets in while on transit, pull over for a breath of fresh air or a quick coffee on a roadside diner. At least get out of your vehicle for a short stroll. A good way to avoid getting drowsy while on the wheel is to have a good sleep the previous night. Avoid continuing to drive if you feel tired or sleepy.

5. Dealing With Breakdowns

Whether you like it or not, car breakdowns are part of the journey. One way to avoid a breakdown is to service your car at regular intervals. The next crucial way is to learn basic repairs such as replacing a blown fuse or changing a flat tire. 

If the breakdown is beyond your skills, then pull over safely, call for roadside help as you turn on the hazard warning lights on your car. Make sure to position the reflective warning triangle on the road to make it visible to other motorists.

4. Keep Calm On The Road

New York motorists are not exactly courteous on the road. You’re likely to meet all manner of aggression on the road. Speed enthusiasts, loud howling music, and hooting maniacs. Everyone appears to be in a hurry to reach his destination. The trick is to remain calm and focused.

3. Driving in Rain and Snow

Harsh weather during winter can be both dangerous and frightening to many motorists. Poor road conditions, storms, and rain cause nearly half a million crashes and over 800 deaths every winter in New York.

Here are some cold weather driving tips:

  • Ensure your tires are properly inflated and have good tread
  • Keep your tank three-quarters full at all times
  • Don’t warm your car in an enclosed area
  • Carry warm clothing, water, and food in your car
  • Avoid using cruise control when driving on slippery ice or snow

2. Give Your iPhone a Wide Berth

Distracted driving is one of the fastest-growing dangers on New York roads. More and more crashes are occurring as a result of driver negligence and other outside factors. 

According to the NHTSA, drivers who look away for 2 or more seconds while driving can double their risk of crashing, while those who talk on their mobile phones are 2-3 times more likely to be involved in a road accident.

1. Do Not Drink and Drive

Drinking combined with covid restrictions is a dangerous mix especially in 2020. It’s time for merry-making and many highways are bursting with traffic. 

That said, most of us are traveling to parties, to have fun, and down a couple of drinks. After the party is over, everybody wants to know: Are you driving yourself home?

Many drunk people risk their lives by driving after having consumed one too many and the result is often fatal.

According to NHTSA, most DUIs (drinking under the influence) happen on holidays and weekends. In 2017, about 10870 people died in drunk driving accidents and that is roughly 30 people each day. 68 percent of those drivers involved in accidents recorded an illegal blood alcohol concentration of 0.15

In 2016, drunk drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 were in the age group 21 – 24 years old, at 27 percent followed by 25 – 34, at 26 percent.

Male drivers are most likely to be involved in this type of booze-driven accident, with about 4 male drunk drivers dying for every one female driver.

Conclusion

Staying safe while driving is no rocket science. Using common sense and obeying traffic rules is essential. They’re in place to protect you and other drivers while driving on the road. Make sure you obey the rules and you apply them to your driving each day. Have a safe trip.