New York is a taxi-rich city, even in the nicest of weather conditions. When the white stuff starts to fall, however, even more visitors and residents of the Big Apple may be hailing a taxi to avoid walking. While this steady flow of riders creates reliable work for taxicab drivers, winter road conditions also present a myriad of new hazards and causes for concern. Here are a few ways to avoid a taxicab accident during winter.
Winterize Your Taxi
Aside from routine maintenance like an oil change and tire rotation, winter calls for some special TLC to your taxicab. Get winter wiper blades for the car, which are covered in plastic or rubber. These blades can mean the difference between seeing safely out your windshield during a snowstorm and driving blind. Keep an ice scraper on hand to clear all windows and make sure your car’s defrost function is working properly – you are more likely to be in an accident when you can’t check your mirrors due to frosty windows. Stock your trunk with emergency supplies, such as kitty litter to help your tires gain traction in a snow bank and orange cones to alert other drivers that you are stalled on the road. Always get your brakes checked before the first snowfall.
Be Prepared for Road Conditions
Another way to stave off a Yellow cab crash is by remaining aware of current road conditions and establishing the common causes of taxi accidents. Keeping on top of weather and road condition reports allows you to properly manage your time and might prevent an accident that results from hurried behavior. When traffic reports advise avoiding certain streets and bridges – take heed and find another route to your rider’s destination. Road conditions can change throughout the day, so checking the road condition report once in the morning won’t suffice; stay up to date on expected drive times throughout the day.
Refresh Your Winter Driving Knowledge
Knowing your way around the city is one thing. Navigating the streets in dangerous conditions is quite another. Remind yourself of the safest strategies for winter driving to avoid sliding on black ice or getting stuck on a hill. Remember to drive more slowly in winter conditions and keep in mind that stopping takes more than twice as long. While it might be possible to come to a complete stop in just three to four seconds on dry pavement, when the roads are icy it could take up to 10 seconds to come to a stop. Don’t try to accelerate quickly on a hill, because the likely outcome will be spinning tires with no inertia. Rather, get some momentum right before you start heading up the hill.
A taxicab accident in New York is no walk in the park. Avoid wrecking your cab – and injuring yourself and others – by maintaining your vehicle and staying on top of road conditions. During the winter months, every day safety tips become even more paramount. Always wear a seatbelt and keep at least a half a tank of gas in the taxicab at all times.
Laurence P. Banville, Esq. founded Banville Law in the interest of helping victims, such as nursing cab drivers, recover compensation for injuries caused by others. He enjoys sharing his ideas online and you can read his articles mainly on legal, medical, business and lifestyle blogs.