Chicago taxicab drivers must exercise caution when dropping off passengers. Passengers should be permitted to disembark only where it is reasonably safe to do so. That usually means pulling to the curb. Stopping so as to give a passenger the option of either exiting the cab into moving motor vehicle traffic, or into a busy bicycle lane is negligence on the part of the driver. Once again a cab driver's poor decision as to where to drop off a passenger has resulted in injury to a bicyclist. Our law firm is representing the cyclist. On Halloween evening at around 7:30 p.m. a 35 year old female cyclist was injured when a southbound taxi cab on Wells Street, about a half a block south of North Avenue, dropped off his passenger into a dedicated bicycle lane. In this instance, the right wheels of the taxi encroached into the bike lane, an ordinance violation. When the passenger opened the right rear door it struck the left hand of the bicyclist causing severe finger tendon laceration requiring eight stitches. It is not yet clear whether surgery will be necessary to restore full function to the finger and hand.
The bicyclist would have been easily visible. Her bike was equipped with operating lights and she was wearing light colored clothing at the time of the incident. She was wearing a helmet and did not sustain a head injury.
Wells Street at the location of this incident has one southbound and one northbound lane. Cab drivers on this and similar roadways simply cannot provide their passengers with two unsafe options of exiting and simply hope nothing bad happens. In such instances, the passenger is offered the option of either exiting on the left of the cab and into moving motorized traffic, or on the right into a busy bicycle lane. This is negligence plain and simple. Cab drivers must drop off passengers in a reasonably safe place so as to avoid putting either the passenger or other roadway users at risk.