Millions of people travel to Kansas City for vacations and business every year. Many find taxis a convenient way to get around town. Residents of Missouri and Kansas also use them when their vehicles break down, when out for a night on the town, or to get around Kansas City’s busy downtown.
Unfortunately, cab operators in a hurry to deliver passengers and pick up the next ride can engage in dangerous driving practices that can put you and your family in danger of suffering serious injuries in a taxi accident.
Leading Causes of Taxi Crashes
City Cab of Kansas City, Orange Cab Company, 10/10 Taxi, and Yellow Cab are a few of the taxi services available in our metro area. In many collisions, the taxi driver is the at-fault party. However, in other cases, the liable party is an individual driving a passenger vehicle. Here are some of the most common reasons for these tragic wrecks.
Because cab drivers make better money when they have more rides, they frequently exceed the speed limit. It takes a speeding vehicle longer to stop or slow down, increasing the likelihood of a collision. In addition, the force of impact is greater, which can cause passengers in the taxi to suffer more catastrophic injuries.
Making Unsafe Lane Changes
In an effort to get to their destination more quickly, cabbies may try to weave between lanes, cut in on a congested road or highway, or change lanes without signaling. These collisions are especially dangerous on highways, where the vehicles are traveling at a faster speed.
Engaging in Distracted Driving
While in the driver's seat, some operators text or talk on their cellphones to arrange their next pick-up, read a GPS, or eat. All of these distracted driving practices take a cabbie's mind and eyes off the road and are the cause of many preventable accidents.
Driving When Intoxicated
If a taxi driver is intoxicated due to drug or alcohol use, his reaction time, vision, judgment, and other crucial driving abilities are impaired. Also, some prescription medications can similarly reduce a cabbie’s driving abilities and lead to a devastating accident.
Driving When Drowsy
Taxi drivers are often on the road for long periods without a break. Like truck drivers, they may be operating their vehicles when fatigued, which reduces their abilities in similar ways as intoxication. If they're fighting to stay awake—or actually fall asleep at the wheel—they can veer into oncoming traffic and cause a head-on collision or slam into the rear end of a vehicle that suddenly slows down or stops.
Violating Traffic Laws
Like other motorists, cabbies are required to follow Kansas and Missouri traffic laws. Speeding through red lights, rolling through four-way stops, not using turn signals, and aggressive driving are some of the violations of basic traffic laws that result in taxi accidents.
Failing to Maintain the Taxi
Because cabs run for long hours every day, parts can break or fail due to normal wear and tear at a faster rate. When drivers and taxi fleet companies neglect to inspect and maintain their vehicles, the brakes, tires, steering, and other key components can fail when the cabbie is transporting passengers, and cause him to lose control of his vehicle.
Two Problems You May Face Settling a Taxi Accident Claim
If you were a passenger in a taxi involved in an accident, you might be entitled to injury compensation from the negligent driver. However, these claims can be complicated for two reasons.
First, both the taxi driver and the other motorist may be partially responsible for causing the crash. In this situation, their insurance companies may argue about which one was at fault or their percentages of negligence. They may fight longer and harder to reduce or deny a passenger’s claim, hoping the other company or the victim will cave in and save them money.
Second, taxis often are transporting two or more passengers. If they all suffer serious injuries, the value of their claims could exceed the driver’s and the taxi company’s liability insurance limits.
Have You Been Injured In a Kansas City Area Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident, you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule a free consultation.