Most urban dwellers are familiar with rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft as a convenient alternative to driving their own cars, taking public transportation, biking and walking. With a rideshare account, you can request a ride 24 hours a day, seven days a week in any city where they operate.
Despite the obvious benefits and their popularity, a recent study from the University of Chicago and Rice University revealed that rideshare accidents had increased traffic deaths by 2 to 3 percent since 2011.
Causes for Rideshare Accidents
Unlike other motorists, Uber and Lyft drivers often need to navigate unfamiliar parts of the city while using an app that decides the passenger’s fare. This leads them to unfamiliar intersections that are confusing and potentially dangerous.
Because drivers work in their own vehicles, which they have a responsibility to maintain, safety features in rideshare cars are not uniform. A broken seat belt or missing headlight can end up paving the way to a serious accident.
Chicago Ordinance Limits Driving Time
Driver drowsiness can also lead to accidents. Due to an increase in drowsy rideshare drivers, the City of Chicago has created an ordinance that places a limit on the number of hours that rideshare drivers can be online.
Drivers are only allowed to have their app online and accept rides for a total of 10 hours in a 24-hour period. The app warns the driver when they are approaching the 10-hour mark; once they reach the time limit, their app will go offline.
Filing a Lawsuit
Like other accidents, those which involve rideshare drivers vary in severity. Depending on the extent of the injuries, a passenger may require surgery, an extended hospital stay and/or lifelong treatment. They may need to miss a large amount of work, which adds to a family’s financial stress.
Rideshare accidents caused by negligence, such as distracted driving (for example, looking at an app for navigation assistance in unfamiliar areas), may allow injured victims to recover compensation through a personal injury claim. In the event of death, the family can file a wrongful death claim. Your personal injury lawyer will help you understand which damages apply to your case and the best strategy to recover compensation for your losses.