Have Lyft and Uber Actually Reduced Drunk Driving?
Uber and Lyft have repeatedly stated that their ride-hailing services help reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road. It makes sense, as finding another way home after having too many beers is much safer than getting behind the wheel of a car.
But a recent study done by the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that the claim is not quite true.
What Did They Find?
The study looked at the statistics for drunk driving in 100 of the most populated cities in the United States, from 2009–2014. (2009 was the year that Uber was created; Lyft was founded in 2012.) But the rise of these ride-hailing programs did not have an effect on the amount of fatalities due to drunk driving; not even during times when drunk driving was most likely to be a problem, such as at night and during the weekends. Particularly on New Year’s Eve in 2013, the deadliest New Year’s Eve on record – with both Uber and Lyft available!
Why Didn’t Ridesharing Help?
There were two main reasons given in the study as to why these services have not yet had an effect on drunk driving deaths in major cities.
- One is that even with the quick rise in popularity, these companies are not yet big enough to handle the overwhelming amount of drunk drivers.
- Second, it seems that people who are responsible enough to find another ride will do so through public transportation or by taking a taxi. Those who are not as responsible are not any likelier to use Uber or Lyft when they’ve had too many.
What Uber and Lyft Are Doing About It
But Uber is taking measures to help substantiate its claim and make sure its services are reducing the amount of drunk drivers on the road. The company is partnering with MADD and asking people to pledge that they will not drive drunk. Lyft participated in a similar type of partnership, although only for one New Year’s Eve back in 2014. At the time, Lyft even donated one dollar for every person who made the pledge not to drive drunk.
Lyft and Uber are great options when someone has had too much to drink. Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough people currently taking advantage of these services when they have chosen to drink. And many are still getting behind the wheel.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed by a drunk driver, contact us at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., at (609) 240-0040. You may be entitled to compensation, and we are the New Jersey attorneys who can help you get it.
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