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What to Know About Uber and Lyft Laws in Chicago

What to Know About Uber and Lyft Laws in Chicago

Thinking about using Uber or Lyft to get around Chicago? That’s smart, especially for rush hour traffic or nighttime excursions with friends. But before you open the app for a ride, here’s what you need to know about how ridesharing works in Chicago.

Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), which most people call rideshare companies, connect passengers with drivers using a digital network or a mobile app. TNCs and drivers are distinct from taxicabs or for-hire vehicles and have different laws which govern them. In Chicago, TNCs must adhere to the Transportation Network Providers Act ( 625 ICLS57).

Understanding the scope of Uber and Lyft Laws in Chicago is important for anyone harmed while riding with these services. Listed below are general guidelines for Uber and Lyft Driver insurance coverage requirements, as required by the Transportation Network Providers Act.

Driver Coverage:

Period 0 (App Off) The driver’s primary insurance is in place, this is the same as if you were in any other car.
Period 1 (App On, No Passenger): From the moment a driver logs into the TNC app until a ride is accepted or completed, they must have liability insurance of at least $50,000 per person for death and injury, $100,000 per incident, and $25,000 for property damage.
Period 2 (Accepted Ride, No Passenger Yet): This is the period in which a driver accepts a ride but hasn’t picked up the passenger. This period isn’t explicitly addressed in the Illinois Compiled Statutes. The driver’s personal insurance would likely apply in an accident during this time. However, there may be some ongoing debate about this. If you have been injured by a driver on their way to pick up a passenger, consulting with a top personal injury attorney in Chicago is a good idea.
Period 3 (Passenger in Vehicle): The TNC company provides primary insurance coverage of $1 million per accident. The rideshare company provides much more coverage than typical insurance. This may not cover uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) insurance for the passenger.
Period 4 (App Off-Duty): Once logged off the app, the driver’s personal insurance takes effect entirely.

Note: From the moment a driver logs into the TNC app until a ride is accepted or completed, they must have liability insurance of at least $50,000 per person for death and injury, $100,000 per incident, and $25,000 for property damage.

Driver Requirements in Chicago

TNCs must conduct criminal background checks and driving history reviews before allowing individuals to drive.
Drivers cannot have more than three moving violations in three years, major violations, or certain criminal convictions in the past seven years.
Drivers must be at least 19 years old and possess a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance.

Safety and Operational Policies in Chicago

TNCs must have a zero-tolerance policy for drug and alcohol use, with procedures for reporting and investigating complaints.
Vehicles used by TNC drivers must meet state safety and emissions standards.

Non-Discrimination:

TNCs must adopt and inform drivers of a non-discrimination policy covering race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
Drivers must comply with these laws and accommodate service animals without extra charges for disabled persons.

Operational Guidelines:

TNCs must disclose fare calculation methods and offer estimated fares before rides.
The TNC app must show the driver’s picture and vehicle license plate number.
Electronic receipts must be provided after trips, detailing trip origins, destinations, total time, distance, and fare breakdowns.

Regulatory Preemption:

Local governments cannot regulate TNCs or drivers in a manner less restrictive than state regulations.

Why This Is Important: Understanding Ridesharing Rules Protects You

This information helps you understand your rights and protections as a rideshare passenger in Chicago, particularly in case of an accident.

Here are the key takeaways:

Insurance Coverage: Knowing the different insurance periods (0-4) tells you how much financial protection you have in case of an accident. Generally, you’re well-covered when you’re actually in the car (Period 3) with $1 million in insurance from the rideshare company. However, there’s a gray area about insurance (Period 2) when the driver is on their way to pick you up. Consulting with a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer can help clarify your options if you are injured during that time.

Hampton and Hampton is a Top Chicago Auto Accident Attorney. We can explain legal details in a way that’s easy to understand so you know how they impact you. Contact us for a free consultation.

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