NEW YORK. Earlier this month, five people were hurt when a livery cab crashed into a New York City deli, highlighting the fact that car accident risks are not just limited to road accidents. According to CBS News, a car jumped the curb after being involved in a crash with a taxi cab. The accident is dramatic and may have some people wondering: how safe are taxi cabs? Unusual accidents aside, in recent months, Uber has come under increased scrutiny after drivers in several major cities, including Los Angeles, Orlando, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Chicago were arrested for assaulting passengers.
New York’s yellow cabs have recently been advertising themselves as safer than other ride hailing services. But are yellow cabs safer?
The Atlantic recently reported on several cases where Uber drivers were arrested for sexual assault. In several major cities, there have been reports of Uber drivers assaulting their passengers. While these reports hit the news, the question remains: are yellow cabs safer than Uber or other ride sharing services?
Unfortunately, there is no system in place to record the number of incidents in which passengers were assaulted by their drivers. For example, in Boston, there is no database to track how many taxi passengers have been assaulted while using these services. There is also no service to track assault of passengers in New York, either. So, when you see those advertisements praising the safety of New York’s yellow cabs, you might want to ask where they are getting their data. Currently we only have anecdotal evidence that New York’s yellow cabs might be safer. But it isn’t clear whether an attack in a yellow cab just isn’t as newsworthy as an attack that takes place in an Uber. Despite this, there have certainly been reports of people getting assaulted while riding in traditional cabs.
New York police explicitly noted that they don’t have a mechanism to track where attacks occur, and they explain that they don’t keep specific data on assaults. However, when attacks do occur in yellow cabs, there are mechanisms in place to suspend drivers.
Yet, there may be one big difference between a yellow taxi and Uber. While Uber has recently put in place a background check process, there have been reports of loopholes where drivers were approved to become Uber drivers despite having criminal records. Despite this, Uber claims that its background checks are among the most rigorous in the taxi and limo industry. The Atlantic reports that while Uber does perform background checks, the number of years the checks can go back is limited in some cases. Some critics claim that Uber’s background checks are not rigorous enough.
Yet, in Boston, some drivers who passed the city’s background check failed Uber’s, so this may be a larger problem that goes well beyond just the ride share companies.
If you’ve been assaulted while riding in an Uber or yellow cab, or were hurt in an accident while riding in an Uber or yellow cab, you may have important rights under the law. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Antin, Ehrlich, & Epstein, L.L.P. in New York to learn more about your options and rights. Or, visit us at / to learn about how we may be able to help you seek damages for your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Antin, Ehrlich & Epstein, LLP
Attorneys at Law
49 West 37th Street, Floor 7
New York, NY 10018