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Doctors Warn Passengers Who Don’t Wear Seat Belts Of Facial Injuries From Taxi Partitions

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New York City Taxi (file / credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

New York City Taxi (file/credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Doctors say that taxi passengers who neglect to wear seat belts are suffering from terrible facial injuries, even in minor fender-benders.

“This is a New York City tragedy and public health issue that has not changed in almost two decades,” Dr. Lewis Goldfrank, chairman of emergency medicine at Bellevue Hospital and NYU Langone Medical Center told the Daily news. “We don’t have a good system to count them, but there isn’t a week that goes by that we don’t see at least two patients with these terrible injuries.”

To combat the threat of these major injuries the Taxi and Limousine Commission has asked Nissan to develop new partitions that will reduce the amount of damage done when cabs stop short and passengers haven’t buckled up.

The barriers that are currently being used have protruding steel nuts and bolts, as well as credit card machines and change cups all at face level. The average distance between a rider’s face and the partition is 16-19 inches.

Rider Thomas Evans failed to wear a seat belt during a cab ride and suffered facial cuts, a broken nose, and a massive gash on his forehead.

Cab driver Pierre Serge said that riders are “paying more attention to their phones than safety.”

Doctors have called for increased vigilance on the part of cab drivers, stating that they should not leave the curb until all riders have buckled up.

Do you always remember to buckle up when riding in a cab? Let us know in our comments section below…

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