The Essentials for Driving in New Jersey

by Staff

Whether you recently moved to New Jersey or you’re planning a road trip to the Garden State soon, you may be worried about driving in a new place. While New Jersey roads may not come with the same stresses as cities like New York or Los Angeles, it’s worth reading this guide to ensure you’re up to date on New Jersey driving laws and have all the info you need to drive safely and smoothly in this state.

Wear your seatbelts

Like many states, New Jersey has strict seat belt and seat safety laws in place to keep you and your passengers safe. Everyone over the age of 8 must wear a seatbelt, regardless of where they’re sitting in the car, and anyone under the age of 8 must sit in a rear-facing or forward-facing safety seat with a 5-point harness.

Get insured

All drivers require car insurance in New Jersey, so make sure you’re covered before hitting the road. In New Jersey, you need to have insurance that offers three types of cover:

  1. Liability insurance – paying others for damages if you’re responsible for an accident.
  2. Personal injury protection (PIP) – pays for medical expenses related to car accidents.
  3. Uninsured motorist coverage – provides protection if you get into an accident with an uninsured driver.

Make sure you get the right cover and that you have proof of your insurance plan to hand in your vehicle.

Consider getting an E-Z Pass for tolls

Plenty of roads in New Jersey have tolls. These roads are sometimes known as turnpikes. You can pay cash at the toll booth, while others let you pay online. Increasingly, New Jersey drivers are using E-Z Pass devices. With an E-Z Pass device, you can drive straight through certain lanes and your linked credit card will automatically pay the toll. This is a great way to avoid queues and stop you from worrying about finding change for a toll road.

Read up on speed limits

In New Jersey, different types of roads and areas have different speed limits. These are set by the state and breaking them will result in a fine in the first instance and more serious consequences for multiple violations. Here are the essential speed limits you need to know:

  •     School zones and business and residential areas – 25 mph.
  •     Low-density businesses and residential areas – 35 mph.
  •     All other roads – 50 mph.
  •     Certain state highways and freeways – 55-65 mph.

Fortunately, the speed limit is usually clearly signposted, but don’t rely on signs to be certain of the speed limit. As a general rule of thumb, always stay under 35 mph in cities and towns and around 50 mph outside of cities and towns if you’re unsure of the speed limit.

Brush up on turning and overtaking rules

Different states often have slightly different rules on turning and overtaking on roads. Here are the ones to keep in mind if you want to drive safely in New Jersey:

  •     Unless prohibited (by a sign), you can make a right turn when stopped at a red traffic light.
  •     You can only pass on the right if you’re on a road with at least two lanes going in that direction or if the vehicle ahead is making a left turn.
  •     Don’t pass other vehicles on hills, at bends in the road where you cannot see ahead, on narrow bridges or underpasses, at intersections and street crossings, or at railroad crossings.

About the Author/s

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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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