Ridesharing apps such as Uber have changed the way New Yorkers get around town on a daily basis. While they offer lower fares and nicer cars than traditional taxi services, they may not be all that they’re cracked up to be. In fact, they seem to be getting into too many crack-ups as it is. According to the New York Post, accidents involving for-hire vehicles skyrocketed in New York between 2014 and 2016. In fact, the number more than tripled during that time. In 2014 there were 534 in July of 2014, and 1,672 in June of 2016. Vehicles used in for-hire business, otherwise known as “black cars”, were the only category of vehicle that increased their number of accidents during that time frame
Certainly, the sheer number of black cars on the road as the industry has exploded has something to do with that jump, but there is a chance that there is more to the story. For instance, between May and June of 2016 there were 5 fatalities involving black cars, and none involving traditional taxi cabs. In fact, accidents involving yellow cabs has trended downwards in recent years.
So what could be causing this discrepancy? There are many factors at play, most likely. For one, Uber and other service drivers are not professionally trained. They take on the work, often in their spare time, looking for some extra money. As well, the nature of the business means they are probably spending too much time looking at their devices. They await a notification from the app to tell them of potential rides, and all too often a driver is paying attention to their phone when they should be watching the road.
Black car drivers will often work for several services at the same time, so they may have more than one device open at a time as well. There have been reports of drivers simply being negligent, by doing things such as watching movies or texting while driving.
Traditional taxi operators have been quick to point out that the startling numbers are a direct result of the weak regulations placed on these drivers. The taxi industry is heavily regulated, and drivers are more thoroughly vetted than their black car service counterparts. As well, they claim that another issue with part-time drives is that they are in it for extra money, and will do whatever they can to make it during their spare time. That means they are prone to speeding or reckless driving to get as many rides as possible during a shift. This makes the roads that much more dangerous than they had been in the past.
Uber and other for-hire ride services are not going away anytime soon. We may see some updates to regulations in the coming years, but they will continue to operate and offer the same perks they always have. If you are ever in an accident involving a black car service in New York, contact a personal injury lawyer to examine your case as soon as possible.

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