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NYC CRASH STATISTICS

The statistics presented by Bruce Schaller in his report "Taxi and Livery Crashes in New York City, 1990-1999" have been cited as cause to get rid of partitions. A March 2, 2001 article in the New York Times states: "The most obvious explanation for the injuries is the hard plastic partition..."

The crash statistics, however, do not support the idea that partitions have increased the number of injuries. Here are the figures for injury crashes in taxicabs from Table 1 on page 17 of Mr. Schaller's report.

1990....3568
1991....3608
1992....4398
1993....4434
1994....4904
1995....4398
1996....4077
1997....3897
1998....3143
1999....3041

Passenger injuries have been declining steadily since partitions were mandated in 1994. This is exactly the opposite of what you would expect if the installation of partitions had caused an increase in passenger injuries. Instead of injuries going up, they have gone down every year.

The 1999 total is just 62% of the injury crash total for 1994. Despite the partitions, far fewer passengers are being hurt in taxi crashes than in the unshielded cabs of five or six years earlier.

Equally dramatic is a reduction in the percentage of passengers suffering Type A injuries. The rate for rear-seat taxi passengers was 4% to 4.7% before partitions, but beginning in 1995 began a steady decline to 2.7% of passengers involved in injury crashes in 1999. Type B injuries have gone down similarly. See the figures presented by Mr. Schaller in Table 3 on page 19 of his report.

Mr. Schaller's report is available in PDF format at: www.schallerconsult.com/taxi/docs.htm

The experience of New York City absolutely does not support the notion that partitions have increased the number of passenger injuries. Indeed, NYC regulators have moved confidently to expand their successful safety strategy to the much larger fleet of liveries as well.


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