If you are planning on ringing in the New Year in the Big Apple, you might want to leave your car at home and take a train. Or, drive defensively.

New York City transportation officials expect this holiday week, already one of the busiest tourist weeks of the year for the city, to be even more busy this year. The holiday spirit has gripped the nation and hotels are reporting a surge in new bookings.

New York defensive driving experts know they should plan ahead before any long trip or one that involves someplace they might have never been. Doing a thorough safety check of your vehicle is a great idea. Make certain your tires are in good shape and are properly inflated. Also, given that you might encounter poor weather this week especially, it’s a good idea to check your windshield wipers. If they look worn, or don’t seem to the job you need done during a light rain they will likely be little to no help during heavy rain or snow, both of which are common this time of year in New York.

It is also a good idea to make certain your vehicle meets or exceeds the minimum requirements of vehicle inspection laws in NYC. New York State requires annual inspections of all vehicles on their roadways, and this level of safety extends to anyone who visits their state as well, so be certain your car is in good working order. Don’t cross the state line dragging your bumper or you’re likely to create a scene and get a citation.

Most of all, make certain you know exactly where you are going and where you can park when you get there. Defensive driving NY can be tricky, at best. There are likely to be millions of people doing the exact same thing you are, so don’t anticipate finding a convenient place to park unless you already have a reserved space or plan on getting there a few days in advance. You don’t want to spend hours driving around the city looking for a place to park when you could be snuggled up warm and cozy in one of the many pubs, enjoying yourself.

Which brings me to my final point: Don’t drink and drive. Don’t get buzzed and drive either. New York has one of the toughest drunk driving laws on the books and police will be out in force to make certain the roadways are free of drunk drivers. Plus, it’s just not safe. If you care about your life, the lives of your passengers and the lives of the people you will be passing on your ride home, drive sober.

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