How often do you find yourself in a taxi when you’re late for work, need to get to the airport for that 5am flight or just want to get home safe after a big night out? For many of us, taxis play an important role in our lives, able to get us from A to B when public transport isn’t running or we are out of other options. But depending on the taxi service you travel with, could you be putting your safety at risk? There are risks to using any taxi service, of course, and you’re putting your safety in the hands of the driver – albeit somebody experienced who drives on a daily basis for a living – but then again, don’t you do the same every time you get on a bus or train?
How many taxis are there in the UK?
There are more taxis today in the UK than there have ever been. In fact, according to statistics from the Department for Transport (DFT), in 2015 there were 242,200 licensed taxi and private hire vehicles in England, and that’s not even counting the number of cabs in Scotland and Wales. With so many taxis on our roads, and new app-based services becoming increasingly popular, it seems like the number of taxi accidents should surely be on the rise. Whether you choose to use a local taxi service or prefer to use an app to order your cab home, you’re actually a lot safer than you might think. A study carried out in New York concluded that taxi drivers in the city actually have crash rates up to one-third lower than other vehicles – so taking a taxi home could be a safer option than the night bus.
What’s in store for taxis in future?
Taxi services today are changing, and that means that the way we use cab is changing too. Already alternative services are becoming the predominant providers of private hire vehicles in many major cities across the globe, giving you the convenience of booking a cab through your smartphone. In some US cities, self-driving taxis are already being tested. In October 2016, a pilot scheme of autonomous cabs launched in Pittsburgh, USA, and within two weeks of the scheme launch, accidents were already being reported. Who’s to blame if you’re injured in an accident in a driverless taxi though?
Well, the company who owns the vehicles could be held liable, or if the vehicles are found to have a manufacturing or safety defect then it could be the manufacturers who are to blame. Either way, you could be in line to receive a personal injury settlement if you get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline within three years of your accident.
How to stay safe in a taxi
Of course it makes sense to take the same safety precautions when travelling in a taxi as you would when travelling as a passenger or driver in any other vehicle. Many of us are guilty of not wearing a seat belt for that short taxi journey home – but it could reduce your risk of injury. Passengers without seat belts are twice as likely to suffer from fatal or serious injuries, but even with a seat belt, injury rates are higher for taxi passengers than car passengers, which experts believe could be due to the presence of a partition in many city taxis. Buckling up could be the difference between life and death, but you should also ensure that any luggage is stowed safely, to prevent it from moving around and causing injuries.
Try to avoid distracting the taxi driver as much as you can – of course we all love to have a chat, but keep it to a minimum. You should also be especially careful when getting in and out of a taxi, as a high percentage of accidents happen when somebody slips or trips on the taxi step or on an uneven kerb. If you’re injured during your journey, you may find you are eligible to make a 100% no-win, no-fee* personal injury claim with Accident Advice Helpline, and the easiest way to find out is to get in touch with us.
Claiming compensation for taxi service slips, trips and falls
As well as the financial risk of running up an extortionate fare when taking a taxi, you also run the risk of a slip, trip or fall getting into or out of a taxi. Slips, trips and falls are amongst the most common accidents, causing 15% of all accidental deaths. You could easily suffer a serious injury such as a head injury or dislocated shoulder after a slip or trip, so take your time getting in and out of a taxi and ask for assistance with your luggage if you need it – that’s what a taxi service is there for. You could get in touch with a personal injury lawyer if you’ve suffered even a minor slip or trip injury after taking a taxi, provided that you feel more could have been done to prevent your accident from happening. If you’ve been injured in a road traffic accident whilst travelling in a taxi, you could be eligible to claim compensation too, and the amount you could be entitled to will depend on the severity of your injuries.
Contact Accident Advice Helpline today
Since 2000, we have handled hundreds of claims for compensation for taxi accidents, and we’re here to make sure that anybody who is injured due to somebody else’s negligence gets the compensation they are entitled to. If you have suffered injuries after hiring a taxi service, whether you travelled using a local service or used an app, you can get in touch with us to find out more about making a claim. Our lawyers don’t charge any upfront fees, so you can take advantage of our 100% no-win, no-fee* service, without worrying about your finances. Just call Accident Advice Helpline today on 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile) to find out more about making a claim and get confidential, no-obligation advice.