Taxi cabs pose a significant danger to New Yorkers both on the street and off. In recent article in the New York Post, Maureen Callahan focused on taxi accidents in New York and showcased the danger these iconic vehicles pose for New Yorkers and even those visiting the City that Never Sleeps. Such dangers include distracted, unlicensed drivers and even operators under the influence. One of Callahan’s colleagues even reported witnessing a cabdriver video chatting on a cellphone with family members while driving.
The article was partially in response to the horrific New York taxi accident that severed the foot of a British fashion student at Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center. Sian Green had stopped for a bite to eat during her dream vacation to the Big Apple when a cab jumped the curb and plowed into her where she stood. The tragic accident made headline news because Doctor Mehmet Oz (of the Dr. Oz Show) responded, providing aid until the woman was transported to a local hospital.
Callahan’s article points out that the cabdriver (Mohammed Faysal Himon) had already reached his 7-point limit months before crashing into the young tourist. In accidents such as these, criminal charges are not often filed and if the cabdriver passes a sobriety test the NYPD often doesn’t pursue the matter. She writes: “it’s up to the TLC to write up either a $1,000 fine or a 30-day suspension.”
While riding in a cab is statistically safer than driving yourself, you may want to think twice about putting your safety-your life-in the hands of an individual who may be overworked and prone to distracted driving. Cab drivers are only required to pass minimum testing-a clean drug test and 80 hours’ worth of classroom training-in order to operate in New York City. There are currently over 13,000 licensed taxi cab drivers in New York City who travel an average of 180 miles per shift. In 2009 (the last year in which statistics are available) there were over 4,000 taxi accidents in New York City alone. That’s one accident for every three cabbies.
If you’ve been injured in a cab accident in the Big Apple, you may be able to receive financial compensation from the cab company or the cab driver. But taxi cab companies are experienced in fighting such claims. Your best option is to consult with an experienced New York taxi accident attorney immediately after the accident in order to protect your rights as a victim so that your hospital/medical expenses and lost wages are paid and you get the maximum compensation for your injuries.