Cab Accidents

New York Cab Accident Lawyer

In the 1700s, wealthy Englishmen going for a drive on a sunny day would call for a "cabriolet," a neat-looking one-horse carriage. The name cabriolet is derived from the French language. By the 1800s cabriolet was shortened to “cab.” To catch or grab a cab became commonplace. In modern New York City, a cab is operated as a “for hire” vehicle. Typically it carries one passengers or a group of passengers that enter together and are headed towards the same destination.

Cabs can also operate as “public transport.” This is not the norm in New York City and Bronx, and Queens. However, in times of New York City mass transit strikes – say by the subway and bus operators – special emergency rules may be enacted to force cabs to pick up and drop off passengers from designated stops.

How the Cab System Works

Around the world, the rules of regulating the operation and dispatch of cabs and qualifications of cab drivers differ. To get a cab (or taxi) license in New York City, there are numerous requirements. The cab license applicant must be 19 years-old and provide a valid social security card plus proof of identity with photo i.d. The person seeking a cab license must also have a valid driver’s license and a doctor’s letter attesting to his or her good health. He or she must not use alcohol or drugs and speak English. Also, the cab driver must know directions and places around New York City and go to “taxi school.” Fingerprints are taken, and a test given.

The meters on taxi cabs calculate the miles driven to arrive at the cost of the cab ride. Originally, meters operated mechanically, and were installed outside the cab, by the front driver’s-side wheel. In time, meters moved to inside the cab, a help in wet or rainy weather. By the 1980s the clickety-clack mechanical meters were replaced with electronic meters, so there was no longer a ticking sound coming from the cab meter. Today, New York City’s cab fleet has electronic advertising display screens and accept credit cards.

Livery cabs are so called because originally cab companies were differentiated from each other by the colors of their drivers uniforms (called “livery”). In the 1900s livery cars were usually black (hence the “black car service”) because black paint wore the best. Today, “yellow cabs" are painted yellow, Checker taxis – big old roomy favorites that were popular in the 1960s – are a play on the car manufacturer's name (Checker Motors) and have a black-and-white or black-and-yellow checkerboard painted stripe.

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