Should I take a taxi or call an ambulance?

It is a natural reaction to immediately reach for your phone and call for an ambulance when you or a loved one is hurt. The safety and security that an ambulance provides can offer some reassurance that everything will be ok, or at least comfort in knowing that you will be taken care of properly.

But, unfortunately, an ambulance can also cost over a thousand dollars, even if you have insurance! For a ride that may be as quicker than 15-minutes, this is hard price to swallow. If you’re not in critical condition, there may be a better option for you. Calling for a taxi or rideshare ride instead can be a great alternative, and will likely cost closer to only $20 for a 15-minute drive. 

There is a lot of information out there telling people to NOT call a taxi when they are injured but in our opinion, if you are not in a life threatening or critical condition calling for a taxi may truly be the best option for you.

If you think about it, the time it takes for an Uber or taxi to arrive in a busy city is probably a less than calling for an ambulance anyways, so it could actually get you to the hospital faster!

Another benefit for taking a taxi for non life threatening injuries is that you are “freeing” up the ambulances for people who truly do need immediate medical assistance or treatment.

With a taxi or rideshare vehicle you get more power over your situation as well. Often times when calling an ambulance, they will transport you to the nearest hospital without giving you a choice as to which you would prefer. With a taxi you can request where the driver takes you.

Please keep in mind that many taxi companies and both Uber and Lyft have stated that they should not be used as an alternative to calling 911 (likely for liability reasons). Some of cases where a person most definitely should not use a taxi over an ambulance includes when a person is having trouble breathing, pregnancy-related complications, signs of stroke, heart-attack, an asthma attack, and anything that results in severe pain. This also might be obvious, but if you are experiencing discomfort that results in your bodily fluids not being under control, you also should NOT be taking a taxi or Uber!

Finally, be aware that some rideshare and taxi drivers may also choose to cancel the ride once they arrive if you look as though you are in critical condition. No one wants to be responsible for your health, so use your judgement when deciding between a taxi and an ambulance and if you still are unsure which to use then stay safe and call the ambulance!