With the prevalence of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, it seems only natural that our nation’s drunk driving statistics would decrease, right? Unfortunately, it’s not as straightforward as that. Numerous studies have been conducted on the subject, several of which have differing results. While Uber has partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and states on its website that rideshare services “are helping to curb drunk driving,” researchers say this correlation isn’t across the board. According to several different studies, Uber has led to a decline in drunk driving, but only in certain cities.
In one independent study, researchers looked at accidents attributed to drunk driving in four cities: Las Vegas, Reno, Portland, and San Antonio. In San Antonio and Portland, researchers found that the prevalence of drunk driving incidents did decrease; the same can’t be said in Reno. The variation in results is attributed to the fact that the statistics were affected by densely-populated cities with high traffic congestion and limited parking like Las Vegas. When so many people are traveling to a particular destination, it makes it much more likely they will be using rideshare services. In another study, researchers found that in four boroughs of New York City, there was a 25 to 35 percent reduction in drunk driving accidents since Uber was introduced in 2011.
The Impact of Uber on Drunk Driving
According to information obtained from MADD, young people (the highest risk demographic) are much more likely to use and recommend Uber and other rideshare services to a friend as an alternative to getting behind the wheel when intoxicated. They also referenced a 6 percent drop in DUIs in areas where Uber was active. It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact areas where Uber has positively impacted cases of drunk driving, but it’s safe to say it has made a difference.
Today’s drivers have fewer excuses to drive while drunk, and young people are much more likely to hand over the keys in exchange for a safe ride from an Uber driver. However, more evidence is necessary in order to get a bigger look at the impact of this type of service. Some surveys indicate that only 15 percent of the U.S. population has ever used a ridesharing service like Uber, and 56 percent of those individuals use these services about once a month.
DUI Arrests and Accidents Declining
Over the last several decades, DUI arrests and accidents have significantly declined, which can be attributed to several important factors. It would be naive to think that Uber and Lyft haven’t played any role in this decline, but we must also look at public safety efforts and the role they’ve played in stopping people from driving after a night at the bars.
Unfortunately, drunk driving accidents do still take place here in Dallas and around the country, resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. If you have been involved in a drunk driving accident, please contact Rad Law Firm today. Our Dallas drunk driving attorneys will sit down with you and go over your options, helping you better understand what rights you have and how you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries.