New York City receives more than sixty million tourists every year and is one of the world’s busiest cities. New York has a reputation for being dangerous, though it is safer than it was several decades ago. As a matter of fact, NYC is now considered one of the safest cities in North America for its size. Nevertheless, you still need to take a number of steps to protect yourself, especially since tourists are usually viewed as easy targets in the city. Here are three essential safety tips when visiting New York City.
Beware of Scams
No matter what airport you arrive at, there are chances that you’re going to be the target of scammers or thieves. This is one reason why you never want to leave your bags attended. It is also why you should never let someone help you carry your bags and be careful about who you ride with. All New York City taxis are clearly identified by the yellow paint job and light on the roof highlighting their medallion number, so don’t try to save money with unlicensed taxi drivers.
We recommend staying at hotels instead of using short-term rentals, given how many people put up fake listings to prey on tourists. You should also only buy Metrocards for the subway from approved vendors in the station.
Understand Local Road Etiquette
If you are thinking of driving in NYC, keep an eye out for pedestrians and cyclists because they expect to have the right of way. This is also something you need to keep in mind if you intend to use one of the many rent-a-bike services around the city.
You should know that New York state is an at-fault state when it comes to auto insurance and damages above the roughly $50,000 limit can be pursued in court. If you get injured by a car while driving, on a bike, or as a pedestrian, you’ll want to work with an attorney familiar with New York’s laws. Law firms like Mirman, Markovits & Landau, for instance, are specialized in personal injury cases and will know exactly what you need to do to get compensated.
Take Steps to Protect Yourself
When you first get to the city, go straight to the hotel from the airport in a taxi. Unload your own luggage and take it straight to your room. Doing this will reduce the risk of theft.
Also, make sure to lock valuables in your safe. Meet the front desk staff and the concierge so that you recognize them if they come to the door, and don’t let anyone else into the room. That’s because some thieves will try to show up pretending to be cleaning crews or delivery people.
When you explore the city, stick to well-lit major streets. Plan where you’re going and when you’ll be there so that you don’t end up in an unfamiliar or unsafe area. Don’t stay out after 2:00 AM and don’t get intoxicated to the point that you’re unaware of what is going on around you.
While New York can be dangerous if you do something silly, it’s relatively safe once you take the proper precautions. Make sure that you follow these few tips and be as vigilant as you would be in any major city in the US – or in the world, for that matter.