Like any other driver, a taxicab driver is prone to human errors and dangerous roadside conditions. Unlike other drivers, however, a taxi driver has an increased responsibility to ensure the safety of his or her passengers. As a public transportation service, taxis follow certain state-mandated rules in addition to typical driver rules. These special rules in New York include:
- Licensing standards
- Standards of safety and operational efficiency
- Compliance with public policy in the design of vehicles
- Standards for minimum insurance coverage
- Standards for record-keeping and reporting
If a driver fails to obey any of these laws or typical safe driving laws, the courts can hold him or her responsible for consequent traffic accidents. Similar to other car accidents, a driver may be at fault for a crash if he or she was texting and driving, driving distracted, driving under the influence, or disregarding the rules of the road. Taxi drivers who engage in road rage driving behaviors, putting the lives of passengers at risk, are also negligent by law. If a taxi company fails to maintain the vehicles in its fleet properly, this can lead to negligence-based accidents. New York laws require taxi companies to uphold certain standards for vehicle condition. If a company shirks its duties and fails to maintain these standards, resulting in a crash, this would be a case of negligence. In any given taxi accident lawsuit, the victims may have a case of negligence, product liability, or wrongful death. Determining who is responsible is the first step toward obtaining compensation.