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Chicago scooter injury lawyerWe are now a month into the second round of Chicago’s experimental program to test the efficiency and usefulness of electric scooters in the city. City officials have been looking at e-scooters as an environmentally friendly way for people to move around the city without using buses, cars, and other transportation options that rely on fossil fuels. E-scooters are also faster and easier than walking on Chicago’s streets.

The first round of the e-scooter pilot program took place late last summer and into the fall. The second round started in August of this year and is expected to run until December. With the first month of the second test program now in the books, it seems that the novelty of e-scooters may be wearing off, despite an uptick in overall trips.

More Rides Taken, But…

This year’s program put nearly four times as many e-scooters on the streets of Chicago compared to last year, with 10,000 scooters made available from three different scooter companies. In the first month of the program last year, riders took about 218,000 trips, with an average trip covering about a mile and a quarter. This year, the first month saw 230,400 trips, and the average trip covered 1.87 miles.

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Illinois personal injury attorney e-scooter accident

For the second year in a row, the city of Chicago is experimenting with electric scooters. A new pilot program launched on August 12, as part of an effort by city officials to determine if e-scooters should become a permanent part of Chicago street traffic. This year’s version of the program is much larger than last year’s, both in terms of the number of scooters available and the areas of the city in which the scooter can be found.

The E-Scooter Program at a Glance

Three e-scooter companies are taking part in this year’s pilot program. Bird, Lime, and Spin have each pledged to provide one-third of the 10,000 total e-scooters that will be scattered across much of the city. This is about four times as many scooters than were used last summer, but the number of participating companies has dropped from 10 to just three. Each company uses a proprietary mobile phone app and is allowed to set its own pricing for scooter rental. Reports indicate, however, that the prices are similar across the board: about a $1 fee to unlock a scooter and an average of 35 cents per riding minute after that. Discounts, special pricing, and even free rides are available.

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Chicago e-scooter injury attorneysAfter four months of testing a new form of transportation in the city of Chicago, the e-scooter experiment has reached its conclusion. Ranging from June 15th to October 15th, roughly 800,000 e-scooter trips were registered in the defined pilot area. The test program prompted a lot of positive and negative feedback from both riders and pedestrians. The determination of whether or not e-scooters are going to stay or leave is still ongoing. Many factors will be taken into consideration before a decision is reached. 

A Summary of Chicago’s E-Scooter Test Program 

Looking back to the details of Chicago’s test program, the city allowed 10 different companies to distribute a total of 2,500 e-scooters throughout the designated area. These motorized scooters can reach speeds of roughly 15 mph and were governed by the same legal statutes as any other motor vehicle. Varying from company to company, the average cost associated with an e-scooter was the initial fee of $1.00 to unlock the vehicle, accompanied by 15 cents for every minute used. E-scooters were accessible from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day and could be left at any pickup location upon the riders’ completion.  

What Will be Considered?

Whether or not e-scooters will remain in Chicago is the decision that must now be made. Key topics such as safety, popularity, and financials will all be taken into account during deliberation. To coincide with those areas of concern, the following topics may be considered by the city:

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Illinois e-scooter injury attorneysSerious and life-threatening injuries can affect e-scooter operators as well as pedestrians going about their day. Injuries sustained can have an adverse effect on a person's life, resulting in pain and suffering, reduced income, accumulation of medical bills, and loss of freedom. E-scooters have gained popularity throughout the United States due to their availability, low price, and expectations of a fun experience. Unfortunately, injuries linked to these vehicles can leave their victims with traumatic injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered from an e-scooter accident, compensation may be entitled. 

Who Is at Risk of E-Scooter Injuries?

A growing concern in cities that have e-scooters are the injuries associated with these devices. Whether it be from falling off an e-scooter, crashing into another person, or tripping over a discarded e-scooter, injuries can be prevalent. Although everyone is at risk, there are certain demographics that are more likely to suffer an injury. A three-month study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the city of Austin, Texas, concluded:

  • 192 individuals visited the emergency-room after an e-scooter accident (190 were riding an e-scooter, the remaining two were pedestrians). 
  • 55% of the injured riders were male. 
  • The age group ranged from 9-79, with 48% of the injured riders being 18-29 years old.
  • 65% of the injured parties were Caucasian, and 22% were Hispanic/Latino.

Furthermore, the study concluded that 33% of the interviewed riders were injured during their first experience on an e-scooter. This suggests that there is a learning curve associated with these vehicles that users might not have expected. 

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Chicago e-scooter injury attorneysRideshare businesses are growing at an exponential rate in the United States, specifically in our major cities. Adding to the many forms of transportation in Chicago, electric scooters are currently in a test program. Suppose an individual had a couple of alcoholic beverages at a bar and is trying to go a couple blocks down the road. Although an e-scooter could provide a very quick form of transit, the individual might not be informed on the regulations related to operating these new devices after drinking.. If you have been the victim of an alcohol-related personal injury due to an e-scooter accident, the experienced lawyers at the Livas Law Group, A Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz, can educate, coach, and assist you in seeking damages.  

E-Scooters Are Motor Vehicles

According to the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/1-146), a motor vehicle in Illinois is defined as any vehicle that is either self-propelled or is powered by electricity gathered from overhead trolley wires. Not included are vehicles on rails or vehicles moved only by human power. Furthermore, motor vehicles are divided into two divisions:

  • First Division: Motor vehicles that are intended to carry 10 or fewer people
  • Second Division: Motor vehicles designed to carry more than 10 people, pull freight items, used as a place of residence, or First Division vehicles remodeled for use of the second division

E-scooters would fall into the first division because they are classified as a low-speed electric mobility device that is powered by an electric motor, capable of accelerating to speeds of 15 mph without human assistance and are designed for only one person.

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