New York Traffic Rules and Regulations
There are lots of things to keep in mind when you’re on the road. With so many other drivers out there, it’s important to keep yourself aware while driving. If you follow these tips, you’ll not only keep yourself safe, you’ll keep others safe too:
- Understand the right of way
- If you approach an intersection and there are other cars there before you, you must allow them to go first.
- When two drivers on opposite sides of the intersection reach it simultaneously, a driver that is turning left has to yield to a car that is either going straight or turning right.
- A driver must yield to pedestrians using crosswalks, whether marked or unmarked.
- Know how much space is necessary between cars
- There’s something called the “three second rule,” which dictates that you should be able to count, “One thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three,” before you reach a fixed point ahead which the car in front of you has just passed. When the weather is bad, leave even more space open between yourself and that car.
- Don’t forget your turn signals
- According to vehicle & traffic law, you must have your signal on continuously for no less than 100 feet before you turn.
- You must provide an appropriate signal before you slow down or stop in traffic.
- Remember that lanes go according to speed
- The furthest left lane is the “fast lane,” and the furthest right lane is the “slow lane.”
- Therefore, if you see many cars passing you on the right, you should move over to the right and allow cars to pass on the left.
- By the same token, you should always pass on the left, not on the right.
- Be aware that you can turn on red
- At many intersections in the state of New York where there is a traffic light, you are allowed to turn right when the light is red.
- You need to first come to a complete stop, check to be sure that the intersection is clear, and then turn right when you can do so safely.
- In cities with over one million residents, there must be a sign saying that you can turn on red for you to be able to do so.
- You may not turn right on red if there is a sign that forbids it.
New York State Traffic Laws
In addition to the general safety guidelines outlined above, there are some very important traffic laws in place to keep all drivers free from harm. Some of the big ones are:
- You may not operate a motor vehicle while your ability to do so is impaired by alcohol. Specifically, you may not drive when your blood alcohol level is at or over .08.
- You may not drive if your ability is impaired by drugs.
- You may not use a cell phone or any other portable electronic device while driving (this includes talking on the phone or texting while driving).
- While an emergency vehicle is flashing its lights/sounding its siren, all other cars must yield the right of way, and drive as closely over to the right-hand curb as possible, until the emergency vehicle has passed.
- Always follow posted speed limits; do not exceed them.
Though these may seem like common sense to you, these New York traffic rules and laws exist for a reason. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, so don’t take any unnecessary risks.