Eight Driving Myths Debunked in New York

Myth #1: It’s better to let your car idle than turn the engine off. Turning the engine back on uses more fuel than idling.

False. Idling uses more fuel than turning off your engine and restarting it. As a rule of thumb, turn your engine off if you’re going to be idling for 60 seconds or more. That said, do not turn your car off at a traffic light. However, if you are at a train crossing, or a bridge opening and you will likely be parked for a number of minutes, turn off your engine.

There is a lot of traffic in New York City, so when you rent a car in Manhattan, keep this myth in mind and turn off the engine if you think you’ll be stuck for longer than a minute.

Myth #2: You should warm up your vehicle in the morning before driving.

While we can certainly see how this myth would appeal in the winter when you just want to get warm, in terms of warming the engine up, this is pure fiction. Your engine will warm up faster and be more fuel-efficient when on the road.

Myth #3: When You Rent a Car in NYC, It’s Better to Roll Down the Windows

This is false, sort of. While in the city, you can save 1 mpg if you roll down the windows. However, once you get up to higher speeds, it is more efficient to roll the windows up and turn on the air conditioning.

Myth #4: It’s best to drive an automatic transmission around town in “3rd ” or in “D” having off the overdrive button– save “D” for the highways.

This idea originated with the thought that drivers had to lock out the most high gear for responsive performance during stop-and-go traffic (which you will encounter when you rent a car in Manhattan NY). However, modern vehicles now have transmissions that are very quick to kick down on a lower gear. Driving without the highest gear around New York will only lower your gas mileage.

Myth #5: Shift your automatic transmission back to Neutral at the red lights.

This myth started with the idea that holding the transmission into Drive while stepping on the brakes wastes fuel and results in unnecessary wear of the driveline. The reality is that the engine wear as well as fuel loss is minimal.

When you rent a car in New York City, know that regularly shifting from Neutral back into Drive when the light turns green and then immediately stepping on the gas can slightly wear on the transmission, driveline, and engine mounts.

Myth #6: Talking hands-free is the safe alternative to holding a cell phone.

While this is definitely the lesser of two evils, it still has considerable risks. Talking on a cellphone is definitely a distraction and an ever-growing factor in many accidents. However, the culprit isn’t simply the act of holding a cellphone and the one-armed driving that accompanies it; it’s taking your mind off the road. Unfortunately, Bluetooth or headsets will do little to mitigate this risk.

Myth #7: You don’t need to wear the seatbelt when you’re sitting in the backseat.

Few people actually advocate this horrendously unsafe act, but many rear-seat passengers do wear seat belts. This puts you at high risk for accidents – especially rollovers – when you rent a car in Manhattan. In any location in the car, not wearing a seat belt can make you a projectile towards others during the collision (or out of the vehicle). Crashes are violent, so don’t count on the seat to brace you – you won’t be able to physically stay where you are.

Myth #8: Keep the doors unlocked so the rescuers can get you out of the car after an accident

This seems reasonable – help them help you! However, unlocked doors have higher chances to open during a collision and eject the travelers of the car. In many of the modern vehicles, the doors will automatically unlock after airbag deployment. Even if they don’t, rescuers can break the windows to get in.

While we just debunked some driving myths, our awesome Fleet is pure fact. Check out our impressive line of vehicles for when you rent a car in Manhattan.