Not only passengers are at risk of injury in taxi accidents. Drivers are also vulnerable to injury and death — and they don’t even have to be driving! A recent crash tells the story.
It’s not clear why an SUV was speeding down East 26th Street near Third Avenue. However, what happened next is every cab driver’s nightmare. The 2000 Nissan Pathfinder hit a double-parked cab. The driver, who was standing beside his cab, was thrown into the air by the impact. He died at the scene.
What caused the accident? Police reports say that alcohol was not involved in the crash. A witness reported overhearing the driver tell a police officer that his accelerator became stuck. The police are not expecting to file charges against the driver.
The 35-year-old cab driver, who lived in Elmhurst, Queens, was an immigrant from Bangladesh and had lived in the U.S. since the 1990s. He was studying to be a dental hygienist.
Another cab driver, who was dropping off a fare on the same block, reported that the cab almost hit him as well. In addition to the dead driver’s cab, the crash damaged three parked cars, including one in which someone was sitting. That person was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
In addition to recent cab accident fatalities, including one incident where a Utah grandmother taking her pre-teen grandson on a birthday trip died after a cab accident, taxi accidents cause other types of fatalities. A 2012 CBS news story reported that city physicians are worried about the significant facial injuries suffered by passengers who don’t buckle up. If a cab stops quickly, passengers are easily thrown into the credit card machine, the change cup, and the bolts that attach the partition between the passenger and driver. One doctor recommends that cab drivers be required to remain stopped until passengers fasten their seat belts. He says that this would reduce the number of cuts, bruises and gashes suffered by New York City taxi passengers.
Source: New York Daily News, “Doctors Warn Passengers Who Don’t Wear Seat Belts Of Facial Injuries From Taxi Partitions,” Jan. 20, 2013; CBS New York, “Doctors Warn Passengers Who Don’t Wear Seat Belts Of Facial Injuries From Taxi Partitions,” Mar. 11, 2012.