Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are a foundational part of the modern “gig economy,” and these companies spend a lot of money promoting themselves as safe and cost-effective methods of transportation. But while Uber and Lyft often claim that they increase safety on the road, their actual practices seem to show otherwise, and their drivers often put people at risk of being injured in car accidents.
Uber, Lyft, and Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is one of the greatest dangers on the road today, and many car accidents are caused by drivers falling prey to the temptation to take their attention off the road and look at their smartphones. The possibility of distraction is especially strong for Uber and Lyft drivers, who are not just tempted to pay attention to their phone while driving but are actually required to do so, whether they are following GPS directions, looking at messages, or otherwise interacting with the Uber or Lyft apps.
Distractions from electronic devices are a major threat to roadway safety, but they are built into the experience of driving for a ride-share service. In many cases, the Uber or Lyft apps send messages to their drivers which lets them know they should continue earning fares to meet a certain goal or dispatching them to a new fare before their current fare ends. These messages often encourage drivers to continue driving past the point of fatigue, and the constant distractions present a serious danger to everyone on the road.
Lack of Experience Combined with Distractions Causes Tragic Accidents
Many Uber or Lyft drivers lack the familiarity with the roadways as compared other more experienced chauffer or taxi drivers. For example, many drivers do not have adequate experience driving in urban areas, like downtown Chicago, are unfamiliar with certain neighborhoods, and do not know how to safely drive in congested areas. When this lack of experience is combined with built-in distractions, tragic results can occur. Unfortunately, companies like Uber or Lyft do not provide their drivers with any kind of training on how to drive on city streets or even how to avoid being distracted when driving. When inexperienced drivers are combined with built-in distractions, tragic results occur. Statistics show that accidents caused by distracted driving are on a dramatic rise in Illinois and around the country.
Contact a Cook County Personal Injury Lawyer
All too often, ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft put their profits ahead of people’s safety, and they should be held accountable for accidents caused by their drivers. If you have been injured in a collision involving a ride-share driver, the skilled attorneys at Pullano & Siporin can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact our Chicago car accident attorneys at 312-551-1100 to schedule a free consultation.