Taking a taxi to reach your hotel may be one of the first things you do after arriving at Cancun International Airport. But in an increasing number of cases, taxis have been to blame for traffic accidents, which have resulted in several hundred injuries this year alone.
Recent statistics reveal that taxis are involved in up to 80% of all public transit accidents in Cancun. Not only that, but the number has been rising steadily in recent times. From May to August this year, taxi drivers were found to have been to blame for more than 7 out of every 10 car accidents in Cancun.
In that four-month period, 289 public transport accidents were recorded in Cancun, out of which 224 are linked to taxis. The remaining accidents involved minivans or buses. The numbers are based on data released by the Municipal Secretary for Public Security and Transit, who regularly evaluate road traffic safety in Cancun.
235 injuries and 1 death were reported during that period. This is a sharp increase compared to the 195 incidents reported between January and April; although the early months of the year are usually quieter, April sees a massive influx of visitors for Easter break.
The surprising statistic may lead many to question the ability of their trusted taxi driver to drive safely. On the bright side, the overwhelming majority of taxi rides occur scot-free. From a statistical point of view, the high number of accidents can be in part explained by the abundance of taxi services and drivers in Cancun and other Mexican Caribbean resort destinations.
That being said, several tax-related accidents regularly make the headlines in Cancun. Just a few days ago, a woman was killed and three more were injured when a taxi driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a street sign on Colosio boulevard in downtown Cancun. At the time of the accident, the driver was well above the speed limit.
Several authorities have called for increased caution in light of the alarming figures. One such call comes from the Red Cross, whose director, Amílcar Galabiz Aguilar, says that up to 7 in every 10 taxi-related accidents lead to hospitalizations. From expensive x-rays to intricate surgery, the costs can add up, and the injuries may be life-threatening. He also asks passengers to report any wrongdoing or irresponsible driving to public safety officials.
There are several steps visitors can take to improve their safety while on the road. One option is to use hotel or resort shuttle services, which usually have newer and safer vehicles. If you do take a taxi, be sure to report any misconduct to local authorities and take note of the vehicle’s registration number.
Fined Taxi Drivers On The Rise In Cancun
The number of taxi drivers facing fines in Cancun over unfair practices such as overcharging is on the rise. In August, 70 taxi drivers faced an administrative penalty for trying to scam passengers, many of which are tourists. It is believed that rising gasoline prices are forcing taxi drivers to seek new ways to compensate for high inflation. 80% of all fines were issued for overcharging, whereas 20% were for inadequate treatment.
Expect to pay between 500 and 1000 Mexican pesos ($25 to $50) for a taxi ride from Cancun International Airport to Cancun’s hotel zone, depending on the location of your accommodation. If you suspect your taxi driver may have overcharged you, you can report the incident to the following numbers 998-689-1166 or 998-888-6990.
Another alternative is to use an Uber-type service, which allows users to confirm the price of a ride beforehand, as well as issue an electronic receipt.
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