Injuries in taxi cabs are common and very real. Yet as a miami taxi-accident lawyer I see taxi customers enter a cab with a very lackadaisical attitude towards wearing their seat belt. In their own car (or as a passenger in someone else’s car) these same people wouldn’t imagine travelling in car without wearing their seat belt, but somehow the rules change because they are in a yellow cab.
Jerry Seinfeld had a very funny bit about taxi cab drivers:
No matter how dangerous it seems… it’s all quite amusing in the back of that cab, isn’t it? He’s flying around the road, he’s… doing 90 up a one-way, and you’re going… (amused) “I’ve never tried that in my car!” It’s all a huge joke ! It’s your life. And somehow it’s … all not quite real.
The dumbest thing you can think in the back of a taxi cab is “well I’m sure the man knows what he’s doing.” Have you ever thought that? He is driving fast. And quite recklessly. On bald tires. But after all he’s a professional. I guess he does this all the time. He’s got a license, I can see it right there.
As the New York Times reported a few days ago, failing to wear a seat belt in a taxi (or any car) can have lethal consequences. John Nash, Jr, genius mathematician and Nobel Prize winner (and subject of the movie, “A Beautiful Mind”) and his wife were thrown out of a taxi after a car accident because they were not wearing their seat belts. Unfortunately, neither of them survived the car accident injuries.
The back seat of a vehicle is reportedly safer than the front seat. It seems that people will use this slice of knowledge, coupled with the belief that the taxi-cab driver is experienced and knows the roads better than other drivers, to justify not wearing a seat belt in the back seat of a taxi.
All of this may be true, the taxi-cab driver drives his vehicle all day long around big cities like Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. Perhaps he/she does know the streets better than the rest of us. Perhaps the yellow cab driver is, in fact, better an maneuvering around our South Florida roads. This, however, has zero impact on other drivers. Think about all the miami tourists in rental cars, unfamiliar with the South Florida roads. Think about how bad some of our resident drivers are in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale to begin with! So when you fail to wear your seat belt in the back seat of a taxi cab you are not only placing your trust in the cab driver, but you are betting that everyone in front, back and to the side of your taxi are safe drivers as well. That is not a bet worth making. The odds are not in your favor and losing the bet can be disastrous for you and your family.
In addition, consider the concept of comparative negligence. Car accident injuries are not necessarily 100% the fault of any one person. If you are injured because you were not wearing your seat belt, a defense lawyer can argue that you should be held partially responsible for your own injuries.
Let this experienced car accident lawyer persuade you to not only be a safe driver, but to be a safe passenger as well. Always wear your seat belt. As you have heard since you were a kid, “seat belts save lives.”