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You Have Just Had An Accident With A Taxi: Now What?

Author: Sherryn de Vos
Date: 2017-03-16
A Minibus Taxi has just lost control and wrecked your car. We take a look at the taxi industry and at what you need to do next.

As much as taxi’s have become a common cultural acceptance on South African roads, they are still a dangerous feature. It is currently estimated that over 60 000 minibus taxis are driving on roads uninsured. 

Statistics, however, are downplaying the impact of minibus taxi accidents on the roads. It is claimed that small motor vehicles accounted for 47.9% of total crashes in 2016. While, light vehicles accounted for 22.7% of crashes and mini buses, 10.1%. Trucks came in at 4.1%.

Facts And Figures Of Taxis

  • Taxis account for 65% of public transport, while buses make up 20% and rail 15%.
  • There are currently around 150 000 minibus taxis on South African roads.
  • 36 lives are lost a day on roads, three of those are due to taxis.
  • There are over 20 000 taxi owners and 200 000 employees. 

Why Taxis Are So Hazardous

  • Minibus taxis work in highly-pressurised operating conditions.
  • They try and reduce the amount of travel time and secure more passengers to turn over profit.
  • The industry is highly competitive, with numerous taxi companies vying for the same passenger base.
  • The drivers are under pressure to meet their strict daily requirements. They need to meet a certain number of passengers and trips to maintain their earnings.
  • This, in turn, results in higher speeds, overloading, and reduced stopping distances between the taxi and other cars.
  • Drivers end up buying cheaper car parts and replacements, as it has a direct affect on their wages.
  • Brake pads and linings are, therefore, manufactured locally and sold cheaply to cater for the market. 

Steps To Take In A Collision With a Taxi

  • The first step is to remain calm. Do not blame the driver, even if it was his fault, and do not mention anything about feeling sorry or guilty about the accident. This could be turned around and you could be found guilty of causing the accident.
  • Keep in mind that you have not just been involved with one other party. There could be a dozen passengers involved, including children. Ensure the safety of everyone in the car. Keep in mind that they are innocent victims and will be in shock too. Keeping calm will simply allow the process of dealing with the accident to be smoother.
  • Do not get aggressive with the driver at any stage. The fact of the matter is that there are most likely other taxis in the area and they tend to stick together. Getting aggravated could land you up in a worse situation than you already are.
  • Should you be involved in a hit-and-run with a taxi, try and record as much as possible. Registration plates, any kind of markings on the taxi, any numbering and lettering. The taxi company is usually marked on the taxi. This could assist in tracking down the taxi. They usually drive similar routes each day, so it should be easier to track the responsible taxi.
  • Report the incident as soon as you can at the local police station.
  • Find out if the driver, and if the taxi, is associated with a taxi company. Many of the taxi companies do insure their vehicles and your insurer can contact the company directly.
  • Should the driver and taxi be uninsured, there are several steps you can take. 

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