Why Don’t You Buckle Up in Cabs?

Believe it or not, this can happen! Photo: Tentonipete

Jerry Seinfeld used to do a bit about the inexplicable sense of safety you feel in the back of a cab:

"The really funny thing about New York cabs is that you never get that much scared when you're in the cab. I don't know why, something about being in Manhattan. No matter how dangerous it seems, it's all quite amusing in the back of that cab, isn't it ? He's flying around the road, he's doing 90 up a one-way, and you're going, 'I've never tried that in my car!' It's all a huge joke! It's your life. And somehow it's all happening on TV there, it's all not quite real."

We bring this up now because the Taxi and Limousine Commission has recently become alarmed about how few of its passengers go through the trouble of wearing a seat belt. For some reason, 90 percent of us will buckle up when we're in a regular car, but only 35 percent do it in a taxi. As Seinfeld would say: What's the deal with that? Do you ignore the seat belts because you just don't expect to crash? Or because they're smushed behind the cushion and you're afraid that when you fish them out, you'll put your finger in some kind of sticky, unidentifiable goo-like substance? Are you simply entranced by interviews that take place on a stoop? It has to be something.