What are your legal rights if you are injured while riding in a taxi?
Recently, celebrities Jason Bateman and Will Arnett were riding in a taxi in New York City when the vehicle was involved in an accident. The “Arrested Development” stars and two others were riding in a cab near Madison Square Park, when the driver rear-ended a car in front of them. Despite significant damage to the taxi cab, both celebs were uninjured in the crash. This star studded accident calls to attention to the risks of being injured in a car accident while riding in an NYC taxi.
Taxi Accident Statistics
As of 2014, there were 13,437 medallions issued in New York City, which give a driver the right to run a yellow cab. Over 50,000 drivers operated cabs within the city, picking up more than 600,000 passengers per day. In addition to yellow cab drivers, there are now several fleets of other popular cab companies. Taxi driving companies across New York City are additionally struggling to compete with Uber and Lyft, which have become extremely popular within the city and surrounding areas.
Recent data on taxi cab accidents within the city suggests that some 1,300 accidents involving cabs happen each month within the city. For the year 2013, more than 20,000 accidents involved cabs. Accident rates have risen sharply since the last comprehensive taxi cab research report was released in 1999. The rise in accidents comes despite only a small increase in the overall number of cabs on the roadways.
Lack of Seatbelts Leaves Passengers Vulnerable
Taxi passengers are far less likely to buckle up than the passengers of other vehicles. All passengers who ride in a taxi cab without wearing a seatbelt leave themselves vulnerable to injury. Children are especially at risk when they ride in a cab without a car seat, booster seat, or often even a seatbelt.
Taxi drivers routinely work long hours, at times spending more than 15 hours a day on call. Overly tired taxi drivers could cause serious accidents. In addition to fatigue, taxi drivers are susceptible to using their phones while behind the wheel. With so much time spent on the road, cab drivers may not hesitate to text and drive, which can have devastating consequences.