Whether you’re a local, occasional visitor or first time tourist, being able to successfully hail a black cab in London can be key to helping you get around the capital city.
Knowing how to do so safely is also crucial to avoiding incidents on the road and potentially serious personal injuries. As a pedestrian, the consequences of a collision with a car are rarely simple and never pain-free so its important you do not put your personal safety at risk when hailing a cab.
How can I avoid road traffic accidents when hailing a London cab?
The first step to staying safe when hailing a cab in London is to know when and when not to try. Taxis that are available for hire will have the TAXI sign on their roof illuminated. A switched off sign means that the cab is not available for hire and no amount of gesticulating will change that.
So, if the light is on, your next move is to raise your hand in the air to indicate your intention. Remember, this is England, where decorum and respectability is king, so waving your arms and yelling ‘taxi, taxi!’ is unlikely to get you anywhere.
The right location is key to hailing a cab. Bus stops and pedestrian crossings are awkward places for a taxi to stop, so don’t be surprised if they don’t. At the same time, you don’t want to get overexcited and suffer an accident on the road after taking a dangerous step out.
Having successfully hailed a cab, your next move is to approach the window to explain where it is you want to go. London cab drivers pride themselves on their local knowledge and may even be insulted if you go into too much detail, such as full addresses or directions. If you’re going to a hotel, theatre or landmark, the name should be enough.
Once in the cab, conversation is encouraged. Your driver will know the streets well enough that they can hold court without the fear of distraction causing a car crash or accident on the road and can offer invaluable insider information for your visit.
If you are ever involved in a traffic accident that wasn’t your fault then Accident Advice Helpline may be able to help you win the traffic accident compensation you deserve. Our expert legal team work on a no-win, no-fee* basis.
Date Published: May 1, 2014
Author: David Brown