A recently introduced pilot program to allow electric scooters to be used as a rideshare alternative on Chicago streets may actually increase the danger for riders, pedestrians, and drivers alike. According to a recently published news report, at least ten people were sent to the emergency room during the first six days of the pilot program. As more and more Chicagoans use electric scooters, dangerous accidents may become more common.
According to the article, several factors have contributed to the accidents. Some accidents are caused by riders who fail to ride in the proper lane, either riding on sidewalks, on the wrong side of the road or in the middle of the street. When a rider uses the scooter on the sidewalk, it can threaten pedestrians, and riding a scooter on the wrong side of the road or in the middle of the street presents a danger to both the riders and other drivers, who could get into an accident while trying to avoid a scooter.
The article also suggests that the scooters are popular with people who have been drinking, and intoxicated riders present an even larger threat to themselves or others. Illinois DUI laws apply to scooter riders, however many scooter users appear oblivious or indifferent to the fact that it is illegal to operate a scooter on a public road while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol over the legal limit.