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Are Taxis Safer Than Uber?

Yellow taxicabs in busy New York City traffic with sunlight flaring down the avenue

When you’re looking for a ride, your safety is a top priority. But what are the differences between traditional taxis and newer rideshare services like Uber? Are taxis safer than Uber or other rideshare apps?

There are important safety considerations to keep in mind when choosing between taxis and Uber that can have an impact on your overall experience with either service. If you’ve been injured as a result of either type of vehicle, it’s important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. At Morgan & Morgan, we can help you with any kind of personal injury accident—no matter where you’re located. We have recovered billions of dollars for clients like you all over the country. 

If you need help, contact Morgan & Morgan to schedule a free case evaluation.

A Comparison of RideShare and Taxi Background Checks

Whether you’re looking for a safe ride home or are considering becoming a rideshare driver, it’s important to understand the differences between background checks for Uber and Lyft versus those used by traditional taxi companies. 

Both Uber and Lyft use Checkr to conduct background checks on their drivers. The Uber check includes an extensive Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) and criminal background check, but there is no credit check. 

If someone has any DUIs on their record from the last seven years, they will not be eligible to drive for Uber. Additionally, both Uber and Lyft require one year of driving experience in the U.S. with clean records; otherwise, you may be ineligible to drive for either company.

Taxi drivers also undergo comprehensive background checks and a more traditional interview process with stricter employment standards than rideshare services do.

The background check process for taxi drivers is very similar to that of Uber or Lyft drivers. First, all applicants must complete an in-person interview after undergoing a fingerprint/level 2 background check. This type of background check involves a seven-year review of the potential taxi driver’s criminal record. Any felonies found within the past seven years automatically disqualify an applicant from driving a taxi. 

Incidents older than seven years are unlikely to show up on screening, so they will not necessarily be taken into consideration when making the decision to accept or reject someone's application. 

It is important to always be aware of your surroundings when riding with either service provider, regardless of what type of background check was conducted on the driver before hiring them or approving them for ridesharing services. In other words, it is up to passengers to protect themselves when using these services by researching reviews and ratings prior to requesting a ride and trusting their instincts while in transit.

The Benefits of Choosing a Taxi over Ridesharing

When you're in need of a ride, there are a lot of options available to you. From taxis to rideshare services, it can be hard to decide which option is best for your needs. But if safety and reliability are your top priorities, then taxis may be the way to go. Let's take a look at the pros of using a taxi service instead of rideshare services like Uber or Lyft.

Taxi Companies Monitor Drivers and Road Conditions

One major benefit of using a taxi service is that most companies employ full-time drivers who are subject to regular monitoring by the company. This means that companies have access to security cameras and two-way radios placed in each car, allowing them to keep an eye on both road conditions and driver behavior. 

Taxi Companies Ensure Regular Maintenance Checks

Another advantage of using taxi services is that all vehicles are owned by the company, meaning they receive regular maintenance checks according to company policy. This helps ensure that all cars remain in good working order and can help reduce the chances of accidents due to malfunctioning vehicle parts. 

Additionally, many taxi companies have in-vehicle safety features such as cameras installed in their vehicles, giving riders an extra measure of protection against any potential danger while using the service.

Taxi Services Have Policies and Procedures in Place

Finally, taxi services have policies and procedures in place designed specifically for rider safety. These can include things such as strict driver vetting processes and investigation protocols for any complaints about unsafe drivers or other issues related to rider safety. 

This means that if you ever encounter any problems during your ride with a taxi service, you will know exactly where to turn for help with resolving your issue quickly and safely.

Cons of Taking Taxis

Here are a few cons of taking taxis that you should consider before getting into one.

Lack of Real-Time GPS Tracking Systems

First and foremost is the fact that most taxi companies don’t have real-time GPS tracking systems available, meaning you can’t share your exact trajectory with anyone while on your ride. This can be especially concerning if you’re traveling alone at night or in an unfamiliar city.

Uncertain Pick-up Times

Another con is that pick-up times can be uncertain. While with rideshare services you can designate a spot in advance and track drivers as they approach, this isn’t always possible with taxis as there is no completely reliable way to determine when a cab will arrive.

Lack of Driver Profiles

Not only do taxi companies not have driver profiles, but passengers also aren't able to see reviews or ratings left by other passengers before getting into the car—something that many people appreciate about rideshares such as Uber and Lyft. This lack of information makes it hard to make an informed decision about who you choose to trust with your safety and well-being during your ride.

Risk of Violence

Lastly, this lack of information puts riders at risk for violence from their taxi driver—something that is not typically a concern when using other forms of public transportation or rideshare services. 

The Pros of Uber and Lyft Over Taxis

Uber and Lyft have taken the hassle out of taking a cab by introducing more safety features, modern cars, and an improved overall experience for their customers. Let’s break down why these rideshare services are often believed to be better and safer than taxis.

Safety Features

Uber and Lyft use their apps to track rides, provide a panic feature for riders in case of emergency, and look into improving safety features all the time. This means that they are always making sure that their customers are safe while on the road. 


Both Uber and Lyft require drivers’ cars to be relatively new in order for them to qualify as a driver on their platforms. This means that when you get into an Uber or Lyft vehicle, chances are it will be cleaner and more comfortable than if you were getting into a taxicab. While some taxi cabs may be well cared for, there is no guarantee that your experience will be pleasant—especially if you happen to get one with an older car.

Ease of Payment

Another great advantage of using Uber or Lyft over taxis is the ease of payment. With both services, payment is automatically handled through your app which makes it easy and convenient for both drivers and riders alike—no need for cash or cards! In contrast, with taxis, you would typically have to hand over cash or use a card reader which can sometimes take longer than necessary.


One of the major benefits of Uber and Lyft is their convenience. With a few taps on your phone, you can easily order a rideshare from almost anywhere at any time. You can track your driver’s location in real-time, communicate directly with them through an app or text message, or even see a picture of the driver before getting into their car. All this without having to hail a taxi on the street or make a phone call. 


Another advantage that Uber and Lyft have over taxis is the ability to tailor your ride to your needs. You can customize your experience each time you use one of these ride-sharing services by deciding where and when to get picked up, and you can even make additional stops along the way all through the app.

You also have multiple vehicle options available including luxury sedans or larger vehicles for bigger groups. This flexibility allows you to get exactly what you need when ordering a ride-share service. 

Cons of Ridesharing

Here are some of the cons of ridesharing companies when compared with taxi services. 

Less Accountability

Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors, which means they are not held to the same standards as traditional employees when it comes to safety and customer service. This can make it difficult for riders to hold these companies accountable if something goes wrong during their ride. 

For example, if you have an issue with a driver or experience any kind of misconduct, you may have little recourse in terms of resolving your complaint.

Room for Improvement

Ridesharing is still a relatively new industry, so there is still room for improvement when it comes to rider safety. Companies such as Uber and Lyft are constantly tweaking their policies and procedures to ensure that all riders feel safe while using their services. However, there is still much work to be done in terms of establishing better standards for driver background checks and other safety measures.

Morgan & Morgan Can Help

Are taxis safer than Uber? As discussed, it all depends, but whether you choose a taxi or a rideshare service, one thing remains true no matter what: you must always take precautions for your own safety. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being involved in an accident or have a negative experience with either type of transportation, you may be entitled to compensation. 

Morgan & Morgan has been handling all types of injury claims for decades and we are here to help. As the largest personal injury firm in America, we are here for you no matter where you’re located. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to get started.