Pedicab Accidents in Austin, Texas
Austin is known for having a large number of pedicab operators – so many that a writer for Forbes referred to the city’s “pedicab economy,” after visiting in 2013 for the South by Southwest festival.
Pedicab drivers have been in the news for other reasons, too. Austin TV station KXAN featured a series of reports on city pedicab accidents, one of which involved a man who, in 2010, was on his way home from the ACL music festival when his pedicab driver cut off a truck in traffic. The truck hit the pedicab, ejecting the man from the passenger compartment and seriously injuring him. The accident resulted in $46,000 in medical bills.
People in town for a festival or local residents who want a safe ride home after bar-hopping may think they’re in good hands when they take a pedicab ride. But some drivers put their passengers at risk when they run stop signs, weave in and out of traffic, or disregard traffic laws and controls designed to keep people safe.
If you’ve been injured in an Austin pedicab accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. The Evans/Reilley Law Firm has years of experience representing personal injury clients in Austin and other parts of Texas, and we’ve been able to help out-of-state clients who were injured while visiting or traveling through Texas. Don’t wait to get help.
Regulation of Pedicabs
One of the accidents KXAN reported on involved a man who was injured when he stepped into a trailer-style pedicab and the trailer detached from the bike and tipped backwards, resulting in a serious head injury. In December 2014, the Austin City Council announced a ban on trailer-style pedicabs and a freeze on the issuance of new permits for pedicabs. The council also said it hoped to reduce the number of pedicabs from 500 to 300, in order to better regulate their operation.
Pedicab operators, like other taxi drivers, are required to have a valid Texas driver’s license, an Austin chauffeur’s license, to carry insurance, to display permit and inspection decals, and to adhere to regulations that apply to the industry. However, during large festivals like ACL or SXSW, it’s nearly impossible for police to check every pedicab driver’s credentials. And according to the 2013 Forbes article, some pedicab drivers fly to Austin from other states, just to work during peak tourist times.
At the time Uber reported these findings, Austin required only in-state background checks for taxi and pedicab drivers, unless the applicant had lived in Texas for less than three years. But the city council updated regulations in 2016 to state all applicants for a chauffeur’s license must undergo national background checks.
The Risk to Vehicles, Pedestrians, and Passengers
Pedicab accident victims include more than just passengers. Austin police have received reports of pedicabs damaging parked cars and hitting pedestrians, and when a pedicab collides with a person or another vehicle, the driver is supposed to stop and exchange insurance information, but not all of them do.
If you’re planning to take a pedicab ride, you may be able to reduce your risk of being in an accident by making sure the pedicab displays current permits and current proof of a driver’s legal authorization to operate in Austin. And if you’re driving or walking in Austin and notice a pedicab driver ignoring stop signs and driving aggressively, you may be able to help protect others from harm by reporting that pedicab operator to police.
An Advocate for Injury Victims
When riding in a pedicab, passengers are not shielded from other vehicles, so a collision can have serious consequences, such as broken bones, internal organ damage, and traumatic brain injury. These injuries may be extremely costly to treat, requiring surgery, hospitalization, and rehabilitation.
The Evans/Reilley Law Firm knows how to achieve the best possible outcome for victims of negligence and carelessness, and our attorneys work tirelessly to secure insurance settlements that help personal injury clients with the costs of medical care, lost wages, and other damages. If a pedicab caused a serious injury to you or a loved one, contact us today to request your free consultation, either by filling out our online contact form or by calling us at 1-855-414-1012.