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Uber Riders in Danger because Rideshare Apps Distract Drivers

May 7, 2020

Romanucci & Blandin, LLC announced today the filing of a new lawsuit that draws attention to the risk of distracted rideshare drivers using their companies’ app while operating a vehicle.  The complaint, filed in Cook County, says client John Barakat was injured when an Uber driver caused a multi-car accident in Homer Glen. Video and witnesses indicate the Uber driver was engaging with the Uber application at the time of the accident. 

According to the Chicago Tribune, a 2018 report indicated there were 67,000 Uber and Lyft drivers in the Chicago area.  Last year, Governor J. B. Pritzker signed a law which makes it a Class A misdemeanor to use an electronic device while driving and cause great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement to another person.  If such an accident results in death, the charge is upgraded to a Class 4 felony.   

“Uber, Lyft and rideshare companies essentially require a driver to be distracted from their driving duties when a patron requests the driver for a trip.  It requires the driver to take their eyes off the road to engage the app at the outset of the request.  Further, the current system requires their driver to engage the app during driving and near the end of the course of a drive,” said Attorney Michael R. Grieco of Romanucci & Blandin, LLC. “Rideshare companies need to install and enforce complete hands-free automated systems to ensure the safety of their passengers, drivers and the general public.”

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