Those who live in Chicago have many options to get around the city. There are city buses, L trains, taxi cabs, personal cars, and even walking or bicycling to get to your destination. In recent years, Uber has arrived as an alternative to more traditional means of transit and further expanding the number of options available to commuters. Uber is a company that allows riders to request rides by personal vehicles from anywhere to any other location within Uber’s service area. Put simply, riders can use an app to request a ride from an Uber driver who will typically pick up the rider within minutes and take that rider where he or she wants to go.
Often, Uber’s fares are cheaper than those of a taxi and the vehicles may be of a nicer quality. Simultaneously, Uber vehicles have more flexibility than buses or trains that must follow a set route or path as Uber cars progress through Chicago because they can move freely among the streets and expressways of Illinois.
There are many upsides to traveling by Uber but there are also many risks. As the ranks of city Uber vehicles swell, so do the number of car accidents involving these car and, unfortunately, the number of injuries that result to those involved.
Chicago Uber Car Accidents
Uber drivers are like other drivers on the road because they must make constant decisions which will affect their safety and the safety of others. Unlike other motorists, though, Uber drivers are also trying to navigate unfamiliar parts of the city while also using an app that governs their fares. This can make an Uber driver more distracted and potentially more dangerous than other motorists in Chicago.
If you drive your own vehicle in the city, you know your starting position and it is likely you know your end point. Even if you have never been somewhere before, you have probably been in the area and therefore have some familiarity with it. However, Uber drivers may find themselves going to entirely new sections of the city they have never visited previously, leading them to encounter new intersections that may be confusing and may lead to dangerous situations.
Similarly, there is an overt pressure on Uber drivers to get their passengers to their locations in a timely manner. Often, this results in speeding or driving in an erratic manner, conduct that may not only be dangerous but can lead to traffic tickets, criminal charges, or even an aggressive driving car accident.
When a person chooses to drive herself, she understands that her safety is in her hands. However, when it comes to Uber, riders must trust their safety to strangers with unknown driving records. Though Uber claims its drivers go through background checks which include a review of their driving history, this process can be flawed as only cited misconduct would appear. Any driver who is irrational or dangerous but has not been caught by police would appear to be a safe motorist on paper. Further, incidents around the world have revealed that these background checks mail fail to identify drivers even with dangerous histories as some applicants seem to fall through the cracks.
Finally, the safety features that exist in Uber cars are not standard simply because the cars themselves are not standard. Drivers operate in their own personal vehicles which they maintain. There are requirements governing the minimum acceptable standards for these vehicles but riders are unlikely to know the full extent of the safety features that may protect them in the event of a collision. Will their ride have forward collision avoidance technology? What about side curtain airbags? What happens if they are in a vehicle that underwent faulty maintenance or with brakes that are not in proper working order?
Rights of Uber Accident Victims who are Hurt in Illinois
The laws in Illinois are not clear when it comes to Uber vehicles. Are they private cars or taxis? Truly, they are neither but rather something in between these categories.
For victims who are involved in an Uber crash, it is important to know that they still have rights under local and state laws which may entitle them to a financial recovery. From medical expenses to lost wages, being the victim of a car crash can become very expensive so it is beneficial for those who are hurt to speak with a personal injury attorney in the area to learn whether they are entitled to help.
If you were an Uber driver, a passenger in an Uber car, or you were involved in a collisions with an Uber vehicle, call the lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. today toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442) or locally at (312) 924-7575. We offer a free case consultation without obligation to all victims and their families who call us or contact us online and we have a licensed attorney standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to speak with you.
If you were injured in a car accident involving an Uber vehicle, call Abels & Annes, P.C. toll free at (855) 529-2442 for a free case consultation.