Tips for Driving in Traffic (To Drive Safely and Arrive Early)

October 21, 2022

There is nothing more terrifying than driving in traffic. Anyone who frequently drives or lives in New York City will warn you not to drive in this city. 

Even for the most confident drivers, it is challenging due to the city’s congested roads and daring pedestrians.

However, if you want to know how to drive in traffic, this guide is all yours. Keep scrolling!

8 Tips for Safe Driving in Traffic

1. Don’t Fall for Road Rage

Many drivers in the city of New York tend to be easily agitated and temperamental. In the Big Apple, incidences of road rage are quite frequent, and a lot of loud horn honking is completely normal. 

The issue is not just in New York City. Along with many other cities in New York, Albany sees its share of road rage incidents.

When driving in heavy traffic, you should be aware of road rage, which is a common occurrence in New York. It’s also crucial to resist giving in and being a victim of it yourself. 

Try to maintain composure and keep your attention on driving rationally and safely. If you become irritated while driving, you’re more likely to lose concentration and get into an accident.

2. There’s No Making Right Turns on Red

how to drive in traffic

If you’re visiting for some days and have no idea how things operate here, pay extra attention because this is different from other US cities. 

Additionally, this can be among the frequent causes of a police stop. You’ll see a sign alerting you to the exemption to this rule on streets where going right on red is permitted. You must, however, wait for a green signal in all other circumstances. 

Another reason to be keen with signs is that turning left on some streets is not permitted between certain times.

3. Drive Defensively

All new drivers should practice defensive driving throughout their driving classes because it is crucial when driving in congested areas. Defensive driving entails anticipating the unexpected and being ready for situations like someone pulling out ahead of you.

People frequently become impatient and unpredictable in heavy traffic. It’s possible that other drivers will try to fit into smaller places than they normally would and that motorcyclists and cyclists will dart in and out of traffic to get around traffic congestion. 

Additionally, when driving in traffic, it is safest to keep an eye out for pedestrians crossing between parked cars. When driving in slow-moving traffic, always check your mirrors and keep an eye out for people and objects around.

4. Drive Slowly 

Although you wouldn’t often have the opportunity to travel quickly on some of New York City’s busiest streets, the standard speed limit is 25 mph. Some people think it’s too low, but others don’t. 

The fact that it protects pedestrian lives is what matters. Additionally, there are areas where the legal limit is 20 miles an hour, such as areas around schools. That’s because there are other types of transportation besides automobiles, buses, and taxis. 

You can’t move fast on the streets of this city because of all the people, street sellers, motorcyclists, and traffic signals, but safety should always come first.

5. Stay on the Look out for Pedestrians 

Tips for driving in traffic

Be mindful of your environment at all times while driving your vehicle to avoid crashes with pedestrians. 

When you have the green light to go, keep eye contact with any pedestrians who might be trying a risky crossing. 

You may even lightly press your horn to alert pedestrians who might be inattentive or wearing AirPods.

6. Every Hour Is Pick Hour

The worst time of the day is typically between 7 and 9 in the morning. Between 4 and 7 pm, the traffic is at its worst.

The worst always occurs around tunnels and bridges; thus, if you can avoid either one, count yourself fortunate. Driving conditions are generally the worst on Saturdays, particularly in the evening. 

You can find yourself caught in the center of an intersection with everyone honking, which is frustrating. But don’t worry, you’ll eventually adjust.

7. Don’t Tense Around Other Vehicles

City vehicles offer many crucial services to NYC but can also give newer drivers anxiety. Sanitation trucks can clog streets and intersections, which can aggravate impatient drivers who attempt to maneuver around the vehicle or, in the worst situations, lash out aggressively at the sanitation employees. 

Stay in your car and patiently wait until the sanitation truck passes the road when you come across one that is obstructing traffic.

Additionally, ambulances can slow down traffic and possibly collide with automobiles. The first step you should not take is to worry if an ambulance is behind you in traffic and you are stranded.

To allow the ambulance to pass, move as far to your right hand as possible and stop your car. As long as you don’t obstruct oncoming traffic, pull as far to the right as you can in the junction when you see an ambulance behind you and the light is red.

8. Avoid Possible Distractions 

driving in traffic

It is crucial that every driver understand the risks associated with distracted driving and take precautions to keep themselves and other road users focused. This is crucial when driving during a vacation in an area like New York that you are unfamiliar with.

Distractions can take many different forms. One of the most common instances is a phone, which many Americans confess to using while driving to make calls and send texts. 

Other examples include items within the car, such as the radio, GPS, and air conditioning, or things outside, like stunning scenery or billboards. As a result, it’s crucial to pay constant attention to the road and control of the vehicle.

Final Thoughts

Driving in New York could be a fantastic way to travel around and explore everything the city has to offer but ensure to keep these ideas in mind so that your next journey is safe and enjoyable.

Driving in traffic requires the right attitude and safe driving practices. When driving, give yourself enough space and time to react quickly to any emergency.

Drive safely to arrive alive!