Car crashes happen – often with severe and devastating consequences.
Recently in Queens, a young man lost control of his car and hit a tree, killing three other young people inside. The driver states he hit a pothole and then lost control of the vehicle.
Car crashes cannot always be avoided, but there are some things you can do to make driving at night safer – something that will be reflected on your driving record and can have a positive impact on things such as your car insurance rates.
Check out these driving safety tips to help you navigate the New York City streets at night to keep you and everyone in the car with you safe, and may just come with an added bonus!
Safety Tips for Driving in NYC
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration says that nearly half of all car accidents that involve fatalities of the occupants happen at night.
Most of the time people spend in cars happens in the evening hours or later, so it makes sense to learn safety tips that can help you drive during darker periods of the day.
Not only is nighttime driving inherently more dangerous, but it’s also more dangerous in dense urban areas – areas just like New York City where pedestrians and cyclists also navigate the streets. To help make everyone safer, consider the following driving safety tips:
Check Your Headlights
There are specific laws in NYC surrounding headlights and their use for visibility during the evening and nighttime hours. Every driver is required to turn their headlights on within 30 minutes after sunset. If you drive in the early morning, then lights have to stay on until at least 30 minutes before sunrise.
Always make sure your headlights and brake lights are working and that they’re at the right angle to prevent blinding oncoming drivers.
Distractions in the car are easy to come by, but you should try to keep your attention on the road in front of you as much as possible. Don’t mess with your smartphone, eat, or change your stereo while driving. Get set up before you hit the road to help keep everyone out there safer.
Increase Distance and Reduce Speed
Give yourself plenty of room between you and the car in front of you to make sudden stops. As a reference point, you need about 200 feet to safely slow down and stop if you’re going about 40 miles per hour.
You should also slow down your speed in weather conditions that may impact visibility, such as sleet, snow, and rain.
Practice Defensive Driving
It’s a good thing to be cautious behind the wheel, especially at night. Make sure to keep an eye on the cars around you to look for signs of someone who may be driving impaired. If you suspect someone is driving under the influence, call 911 and keep a safe distance from them.
Be on the Lookout for Pedestrians
New York is filled with people on foot and on bikes, so make sure to keep an eye out for them at crosswalks and intersections. Jaywalking happens too, so always be vigilant.
Traffic Violations and New York Car Insurance
Getting a seat belt citation or ticket from a red light camera isn’t likely to drive up your car insurance rates, but serious violations such as citations for texting while driving, reckless driving, and speeding sure can.
If you follow safe practices behind the wheel, then you’ll be rewarded by not having your rates increase, and perhaps even a drop!