According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), taxi and limousine drivers have a higher risk of being fatally injured in an act of violence while at work than individuals in any other profession. Their deaths are not like worker deaths in other industries, which are largely due to accidents involving heavy machinery and materials. For taxi and limousine drivers, most workplace deaths occur at the hands of belligerent passengers and robbers.
The CDC study examined US Bureau of Labor Statistics data collected from 2003 to 2013. During that period, 366 drivers died in violent incidents on the job, primarily homicides. It found that black and Hispanic drivers have a greater risk of having a violent fatal work accident and that a male driver’s risk of being a victim of violence is six times higher than a female driver’s risk.
Differences in Death Causes Between the Transportation and Livery Industries
A livery driver is in a precarious position that makes them an easy crime target. They work alone, often at night, and can have large amounts of cash in their vehicles.
The transportation industry, which includes all shipping and logistics, does not face the same issues that the livery industry faces. The CDC study found that for drivers in the transportation industry, the main cause of workplace death was motor vehicle accidents. In 2014, 50 percent more taxi drivers were victims of violence resulting in death than those who were killed in work-related car accidents.
Safety Regulations Can Protect Drivers from Harm
Most of the livery industry workplace deaths during the period studied occurred in the South, where safety regulations for taxis and limousines are not as strict as they are in other parts of the country. Partitions between taxi passengers and drivers, which are required by many city governments in the Northeast, are optional in many parts of the South. Similarly, the security cameras required by many cities in the West are left to livery companies’ discretion in much of the South.
The report stated that these lower safety standards for drivers could be the reason for the disparity between driver deaths in different regions. Other safety measures the CDC discussed and recommended include:
Sufficient lighting in the back seats of cabs and limousines
Equipping cars with vehicle-tracking technology
Silent alarms in vehicles
Safety training courses for drivers
Limiting the amount of cash kept in vehicles
The study stated that it is not just the job of livery companies to protect their drivers from violence. City governments must adopt ordinances that require safety equipment and practices among drivers and companies must abide by these rules. By working together, legislators and the livery industry can cut down on the number of driver deaths that occur each year.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Gross Help Injured Drivers Pursue the Benefits They DeserveIf you have been injured on the job, complete our online form or call 267-589-0090 or 215-512-1500 to schedule a free consultation with a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Gross today. Our offices are located in Philadelphia and we serve clients throughout the Greater Philadelphia region.