If you have never driven in New Jersey, you are in store for a crazy ride. No, driving in NJ is not like driving on the Autobahn but you do need to consider which roadways would be best for you. There is also the fact that traffic laws in New Jersey tend to be a bit different. There is no driving in the left lane unless you are attempting to pass slower moving traffic. Left-hand turns are generally made from roundabouts, especially on busy roadways. And lastly, New Jersey is a no-fault state, which impacts insurance rates as well as rules. Here is everything you want to know about driving in New Jersey as a visitor, passerby, or new resident.
Some Roadways in New Jersey Are Not for the Faint of Heart
Preparing to head up to NYC? Want to take the New Jersey Turnpike to some far-off destination? The NJ Turnpike is probably the most heavily traveled roadway in the entire state, so it can get very congested during rush hour. And the farther north you drive, the most likely you are to run into aggressive drivers in sports and luxury vehicles. If you intend on following the posted speed limit, stay in the right lane. Venturing into the left lane, even for a little while, will probably result in a native NJ driver tailgating you until you move over. In fact, if you are easily frazzled and have no patience for traffic you should avoid the NJ Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway, and 280 altogether.
NJ Drivers Tend to be Impatient
New Jersey happens to be wedged between New York and Pennsylvania, so a lot of residents end up commuting to Philadelphia and NYC for work. With few exceptions, the roadways here tend to move along and there is little patience for delay reactions, hesitation, or uncertainty. If you tend to just put an address into your GPS and follow the directions you are in for a very rude awakening. In NJ, you just might find yourself making a left-hand turn against traffic where it seems virtually impossible to find an opening. And all of the drivers piling up behind you will signal their annoyance with a symphony of car horn honks. People here will cut you off all the time, whether you are driving the speed limit or not. Just have faith that they will be pulled over by the police soon and continue on your journey without trying to take the aggressive and impatient actions of the locals personally.
Elderly Drivers In New Jersey Are Generally Just as Aggressive
Although there is a fairly good public transportation system in New Jersey, most people drive whenever and wherever they can. This means that there are plenty of elderly drivers on the road that you should account for. On occasion, you will see a little old man driving approximately 20 miles below the speed limit in the middle lane. However, most of the elderly drivers in New Jersey are still as aggressive and impatient as their younger counterparts. Unfortunately, as people age, they also tend to have slower motor reflex responses, so elderly drivers are more prone to causing accidents. You can get the details here on when an elderly driver might be required to relinquish their driver's license. Like anywhere else, if you see someone driving in an unsafe manner, young or older, please alert the police right away.
Car Insurance Is Higher in New Jersey For Several Reasons
This may not be an issue for those just planning on driving to or through New Jersey, but auto insurance rates here are higher than the most of the country, on average. Living close to cities such as Trenton or Newark could cause your car insurance to go through the roof. Likewise, expect your car insurance to go up if you are commuting 30 miles or more to work, or if you work in a city like NYC or Philadelphia. The best way to save on car insurance in New Jersey is to live in a smaller town in an area where your car can be garaged. South Jersey tends to be less expensive than North Jersey on car insurance - and pretty much every other cost.
Why a No-Fault Accident In New Jersey Can Hurt Your Bottom Line
When people get into a car wreck, the first thing they usually do is try to assign fault. After all, if you get T-boned at an intersection where the other driver just blew through a stop sign, you can count on their car insurance company picking up the tab. Well, New Jersey is a no-fault state, so if you do ever get into an accident, you might find that the process is a bit different. No-fault means that it truly doesn’t matter who caused the action; if a driver was speeding, distracted while driving, or broke other traffic laws, tickets and fines may be assessed. In the end, whether you cause an accident or are completely innocent, you might see higher auto insurance premiums as a result of being in a no-fault state.
Traffic is Unavoidable
Rush hour, which typically occurs from 7 AM to 9 AM, and then from about 4 PM to 6 PM, isn’t so cut and dry in NJ. Rush hour could actually start as early at 6 AM depending on where you live, and then there is also a busy period that usually happens in the middle of the day around lunchtime. On Friday and Saturday evenings, you can also expect the roadways to become more crowded. As people drive to major cities, go out to eat with their families, or simply cruise around, you can expect to sit in traffic at the most unexpected of times in New Jersey.
Driving in New Jersey takes some adjustment but it isn’t impossible. You have to master defensive driving skills and stay calm even in high-stress situations. Law enforcement does a great job of addressing dangerous drivers, but just like anywhere else, you truly have to be aware of your surroundings at all times.
published gloucestercitynews.net | April 30,2019