Yellow Cab has been a mainstay in almost any TV show or movie based in New York City these days, though the times are changing quickly following the introduction of Uber and other on-call services. Less people are using the classic yellow cruiser service in favor of the new black car.
Unfortunately, this also means that the number of accidents is shifting between the two city taxi services as well.
One such person who had made the switch never turned back. Nilufa Begum is an Upper West Side NYC resident who found that catching a taxi from her apartment the old way was like “being stood up on a date.”
“They’re all driving by, you would see them coming up but then you see that there’s a passenger in there. Like you’re waiting for someone to come, but then they’re just walking by.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, the number of Yellow Cab vehicles already occupied often meant you had to be patient and lucky to even catch a ride. You could see a fleet of them approaching from down the road, and most of them would have a passenger already. If you were lucky, one of the fare-less drivers would see you and the wait would be over.
With the introduction of Uber, Lyft, and other “on call” taxi services, it’s much easier to catch a ride across the city. Of course as more and more people have begun using these alternative services, the number of accidents has also gone up. New York City is already known for its congested traffic, and more vehicles on the road simply means more potential for human error.
— Connor Ryan (@connortryan) August 26, 2016
Uber and other hailing services are reportedly working toward converting to driverless cars, but that might not be any better. If the artificial intelligence believes it might save more lives by killing its passenger, it will. In those cases, Yellow Cab, though being the less popular option, is now the safer one, but not by much.
The New York Post states that the number of accidents involving Uber and other on-call city taxi services has tripled over the past two years. 534 fender benders in July 2014 have given way to 1,672 of them by June 2016. In May and June of this year, five of those accidents ended up fatal, only two less than all of such in 2015.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) August 23, 2016
It seems the switch from Yellow Cab might be more convenient, but your risk of fatality is much higher with Uber. The gamble seems inevitable, as driving yourself in NYC is only adding one more car to the crowd, so you have the added headache of being the one behind the wheel.
Nancy Soria, vice president of Green Taxis, points to the possibility that Uber and Lyft drivers are using smartphones and tablets while they drive, which is only adding to the potential for accidents. It’s very likely that Yellow Cab drivers do it as well.
“The devices can be quite distracting. On Twitter, a passenger said her driver was watching a movie. Some or them do things like that. Some of them work for Uber and Lyft and other companies. They are constantly in between.”
In many places across the United States, using any such device while driving is illegal without the use of a bluetooth hands-free headset. If police catch you holding the phone while your vehicle is in motion, you could earn yourself an instant ticket.
The switch from Yellow Cab to Uber and Lyft in New York may be more convenient, but it reportedly comes with an added risk of death.
[Image via Sergey_R/Shutterstock.com]