One of the most common and primary means of transportation for New Yorkers and visitors in the Big Apple is a taxicab. In fact, taxis serve around 600,000 passengers every day in New York City. They serve a broad spectrum of people, men and women, rich and poor. With more than 49,000 taxi drivers serving the five boroughs of New York City, taxicabs continue to comprise a significant part of the state’s transportation network and account for a quarter of all automobile traffic.
Considering that taxis are such an integral part of New York’s congestion, it is no surprise that such a large number are involved in traffic accidents each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), taxi related accidents account for more than 30 percent of all traffic accidents in New York.
10 Taxi Safety Tips Travelers Should Consider
It may be impossible to totally avoid getting into an accident while riding in a taxicab. You are not in control of the driver and you certainly cannot control the driving mannerisms of other motorists on the roadways. However, you can protect yourself and your legal rights in the event of an accident by remembering 5 important safety tips while riding in a taxi.
- Always wear your safety belts, even when riding in the backseat. Every state, except for New Hampshire, has a seatbelt law, mandating anyone riding in an automobile to buckle up. If you were not wearing your safety belt during an accident, this could affect your right to recover damages.
- Obtain important information before starting your ride. When you are involved in an accident, it is easy to get overwhelmed and forget to obtain important information that may be pertinent to your personal injury claim. As such, it is recommended to get the name of the taxicab driver and the vehicle’s identifying number as soon as you get into the cab.
- Request the police and paramedics to come to the scene of the accident. It is best that you do not leave the scene of the accident before talking with the police and requesting them to prepare a report.
- Get the contact information for any witnesses. If possible, you should get the pertinent contact information for any witnesses to the accident.
- Ask the driver to slow down. You have the right to a safe ride when you get into a taxi. If the taxi driver is driving too fast, you should ask him or her to slow down. If he/she fails to comply, ask that the taxi be pulled over and get out.
If you have been seriously injured in an accident while riding in a taxi, you have certain legal rights and options to obtain compensation. You should consult with an experienced attorney to ensure you obtain the full compensation that you deserve.