ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Characteristics of taxi crashes in New South Wales

Symmons, Mark, Haworth, Narelle (Peer reviewed)

Crashes - Analysis

2005

While the taxi industry is highly regulated, the public perception of taxi drivers can be quite negative. Taxi drivers are often considered to be dangerous drivers, flaunting the road rules and taking unnecessary risks. If they do in fact drive less safely, then in addition to their own wellbeing, taxi drivers place their passengers, pedestrians, and other road users at risk as well. Risky driving may also arise from the challenges taxi drivers face while driving that many other drivers do not have to contend with, including long hours in their vehicles, and pressure from clients to make trips as quickly (and cheaply) as possible.

Crash patterns of taxis were compared to those of cars registered as fleet vehicles and non-fleet vehicles. Analyses were conducted for crash-related variables, driver-related variables, and behaviour-related variables. One of the principal findings was that the crash rates for taxis were higher than for other cars, but those crashes were less likely to be fatal. Additionally, crashed taxis were less likely to have been travelling at excessive speed at the time of the crash, and the crashed taxi driver was less likely to have been fatigued. However, of particular concern was that crashed taxi drivers were significantly less likely to have been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. As taxis are workplaces, the results have implications for occupational health and safety as well as road safety.