New York City is one of the most congested areas in the world, and this makes it extremely difficult for a tourist to utilize the road system with a rental car. Not only will it add a very stressful element to your vacation, but it is completely unnecessary due to the quality of the public transportation options that are available.
1. Avoiding an Accident
Even if you feel comfortable driving in a highly congested area, it is always a good idea to avoid the possibility of being in a car accident. The city of New York has an unusually high occurrence of accidents on a monthly basis that make it very dangerous for all drivers, especially those who are unfamiliar with the area and the car that they are driving. In August alone there were over 17,000 traffic accidents citywide, and the greatest concentration of the accidents occurred in areas where tourists are likely to congregate.
2. The Impossibility of Finding a Parking Spot
There is a joke among New York City residents that sometimes they would rather walk than give up a parking spot. Although this might be bit of an exaggeration, it definitely illustrates the issues that tourists will have to deal with if they decide to rent a vehicle while they are in the city. Not only will their hotel charge a parking fee that might exceed $30 a day, but they will also have to deal with exorbitant parking fees throughout the city and a lack of parking spaces that can make it almost impossible to park near your destination. Most tourists end up picking one parking spot and utilizing public transportation anywhere, so there is really no reason to spend money on a car rental.
3. Following Traffic Laws
Because New York City has such a large population and difficult to maneuver road system, there are definitely laws in place that are not used in a lot of other areas. If you fail to observe all of the applicable traffic laws, you can receive a ticket that will most likely be accompanied by a large fine. It is also imperative to keep a very close eye on pedestrians. In August, 14 pedestrians were killed and 853 more were injured. If you injure or kill a pedestrian due to your unfamiliarity with the road system in New York City, you might find yourself contacting Manhattan accident lawyers and dealing with a prison sentence. It is best to avoid these issues altogether by sticking with public transportation or walking.
4. Getting Around Without a Car
New York City has a comprehensive public transportation set up that includes the subway and buses. You will also have access to taxis, but they can be difficult to obtain during key periods of the day. Another great way to get around the city is to simply walk to your destination. One of the best ways to take in everything that the city has to offer is to ride the subway or a bus to the destination that is farthest from your hotel and then walk to sightseeing locations.
As you can see, it is both easier and cheaper to avoid the hassles of dealing with a rental car. If you happen to drive your own vehicle into the city, then it makes the most sense to park it in one lot for the duration of your visit.
Nadine Swayne is a contributing freelance writer and editor who attended college, and later drove to work daily in New York City. If you do rent a car in NYC and are involved in an accident, Manhattan accident lawyers will offer a free consultation to ensure the proper steps are taken for resolution or compensation for your accident.
Photo Credit: adrian8_8 (CC BY 2.0)