How to Drive Safely in Brooklyn, NY

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Brooklyn, New York, is a fabulous place to live, visit or frolic but it can be hell to drive in. Because the borough is so unique, it has many challenging traffic hazards that could smash up an unsuspecting driver. You can drive safely in Brooklyn by keeping those hazards in mind.

Things You'll Need

  • Map
  • Plenty of gas for when you get lost
  • Know the route. Brooklyn streets are notorious for snaking in weird directions, changing their names mid-route and having similar names that could flub you up. You will definitely drive safer if you are looking at the road and not craning your neck to find a street sign.

  • Watch for cars that simply stop and park right in front of you. Brooklyn drivers don’t necessarily look for a place to park. Instead they like to stop in the middle of the road, switch on their hazard lights and go shopping.

  • Expect surprises. In addition to those who double park out of nowhere, be on the lookout for bicyclists, scooters, skaters, open fire hydrants spewing water, dogs and kids randomly running across the street.

  • Pick your neighborhoods. With a diverse population that ranges from hardcore Italians to Orthodox Jews, it’s helpful to know what to expect from each neighborhood you drive through. For instance, Orthodox Borough Park is great to drive on a Saturday, their Sabbath, when no other cars are on the road.

  • Brake often. Your best friend for safe Brooklyn driving is your brakes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Expect bicycles, scooters, skaters, dog and children to often be moving faster than your car jammed in traffic.
  • Pay extra attention around the loop near Grand Army Plaza where traffic streams quickly and confusingly.
  • Part of 86th Street in Bensonhurst and New Utrecht Avenue are blessed with an overhead train. Don’t smash into the poles for they are unrelenting.
  • Don’t take the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway during rush hour.
  • Don’t take the Brooklyn Bridge during rush hour.
  • Don’t drive anywhere in Brooklyn during rush hour.

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  • Photo Credit Photo by Ryn Gargulinski
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