• Ronald Wittmeyer
  • August 17, 2013

Each summer, many Illinois residents start their travels. However, no matter where you go, an individual can sustain bus accidents, train accidents, plane accidents, or other public transportation accidents. For example, San Francisco is a charming West Coast city that attracts millions of tourists every year. Along with the architecture and numerous bridges throughout the city, the city’s cable cars are a top tourist attraction. Their antiquated look and feel attracts tourists to take a ride on the cable cars and enjoy the city’s hilly streets and views. However, what most tourists and city residents do not know are the amount of accidents the cable cars are involved in and the costs associated with settling legal claims attributable to the cable cars and public transportation accidents in general.

Here are some facts about the cable cars, the accidents they have been in and the costs attributable to the accidents:

  • The San Francisco cable cars are the only remaining, manually operated public serving cable-car system on the planet.
  • They were first introduced in the late 1800s to help alleviate the strain on horses pulling carts around the city’s steep hills.
  • The San Francisco cable cars average about an accident a month.
  • Over the last 10 years, the city has reported 126 accidents and 151 injuries attributable to the cable cars.
  • The city has paid out over $8 million in settlement costs from about 4-dozen legal claims in the last 3 years.
  • San Francisco shelled out more than $2.1 million from a singled accident in 2008.
  • Last year alone 16 cable car accidents and 19 injuries were reported, which is the second most reported in the last 10 years.
  • The single highest payout over the last 3 years was $3 million to a man who had has foot amputated because of an accident

Regardless of the accidents and related settlement costs, the city has no plans to shut down the cable cars. It is one of the top attractions for tourists. City officials acknowledge the cable cars result in a disproportionate amount compared to the rest of the city’s public transportation accidents, but they also state that the cable cars are a much beloved part of the city. An estimated 7 million people ride the cable cars annually, and in a recent survey the cable cars were cited as one of the top four tourist attractions in the city. City officials went on to stress that any accidents are unacceptable and the city continues to make improvements on the cable cars to attempt to reduce the number of accidents to zero.

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