You recently moved to Manhattan to start a new job. You have always owned a car and commuted to work, and so you assume that you will do the same thing in New York. You know that it’s a big city and that a lot of people use public transportation, but you like the freedom of driving yourself.
Is this is a wise idea? Should you keep your car and drive, or should you learn a bit more about public transportation?
The low rating
The choice you make is ultimately up to you. Everyone has different goals and priorities. But you should know that New York has a very low rating when looking at city driving. In one study that ranked 100 different U.S. cities, with No. 1 being the best, New York came in at No. 92. That’s in the top 10 for the worst cities in America. In the “traffic and infrastructure” rating, it got a pure 100, the worst possible rating on the list.
If you’re wondering how New York ranked compared to nearby cities, Newark, New Jersey, came in at No. 96 overall. Jersey City, New Jersey, got a No. 81 ranking. Buffalo, New York, ranked in at No. 52 overall — still below average, but far closer to the middle.
Not only is New York a confusing, busy and chaotic city to drive in, but it can increase your daily risks if you have to commute.
For example, did you know that the New York State Department of Health claims that car accidents are the No. 1 leading reason for injury-related deaths? That’s for all residents of the state. If you’re going to get injured and die in New York, odds are it’s going to happen in a car accident. That’s just the reality of the data.
Remember, you are not always in control of the risks, even when you feel like you are. Driving carefully and safely is one thing, but avoiding accidents is another. You can’t control that drunk driver in the lane next to you, the distracted driver running the red light or the aggressive driver getting ready to cut you off.
Other drivers make mistakes. They always will. If you drive in the city, you open yourself up to the risk of a car accident. In that sense, it is out of your hands.
Your legal rights
If you do end up driving in the city, riding the bus or taking a cab, and you get injured in one of these many traffic accidents, you must understand all of the legal rights that you have to compensation.