Does Using Uber Reduce Accidents and DUI Arrests?

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News regarding criminal behavior associated with Uber drivers typically makes headlines, but what about accidents involving rideshare drivers? It seems that not a lot of statistics are released regarding the number of accidents that these drivers may be involved in, which is not necessarily a big surprise. Companies like Uber don’t want negative press if their drivers are causing more accidents by additional vehicles and/or inattentive drivers being on the road.

Some sources say the rise in popularity of services like Uber have helped accidents go down, while other sources say accident rates have increased in recent years.

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Does Uber make a significant impact on road safety?

DUI Related Statistics

According to Uber, a Temple University study revealed that Uber helps reduce motor vehicle deaths and DUIs. In California, UberX helped decrease motor vehicle deaths by up to 5.6 percent, while the launch of Uber decreased DUI arrests by more than 10 percent in Seattle, and by almost 18 percent in Baton Rouge.

According to The Verge, Uber’s impact on drunk driving statistics is slightly skewed. While it might benefit some cities, a newer study shows that its impact in some cities is not nearly as positive. A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine looked at crash rates in four major cities. They looked at Portland, OR; Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada; and San Antonio, Texas, which are cities where Uber launched, stopped operations, and then restarted service again. They found there was a reduction in DUI related crashes when Uber resumed services in San Antonio and Portland, but no decrease in Reno. And the reintroduction of Uber services did not result in a decrease of injury crashes or serious crashes at all.

Given that DUI related deaths are on the rise in South Carolina, it is open for debate whether Uber’s presence in the state has helped reduce accidents and DUI related fatalities.

Ride Sharing Accidents in General

The New York Post reported that in 2016, the City of New York saw the number of accidents involving ride-sharing services skyrocket. They reported an increase of over 4,200 Uber-related accidents in only eight months of the year.

The website Who’s Driving You, which is founded by the Taxicab, Limousine, and Paratransit Association (TLPA), keeps an up-to-date list of Uber and Lyft incidents that involve accidents, sexual assaults, and other incidents. According to their tally, there are currently close to 50 deaths that can be directly attributed to the actions of an Uber or Lyft driver.

SC: Smart Choice with MADD and Uber

With South Carolina ranking as one of the highest states for drunk driving deaths, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) recommends the use of rideshare services like Uber to avoid getting behind the wheel of your vehicle if you’ve been drinking. SC: Smart Choice is a program instituted by MADD, Uber, and South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, which will provide a safe and reliable ride to anyone tempted drive under the influence.

What to Do if You’re Involved in an Accident with an Uber Driver?

If you’re in an accident with an Uber driver, or while riding in a rideshare vehicle, it’s important to speak with a skilled personal injury attorney. The team at Elrod Pope Law Firm has experience with collisions in both South Carolina and North Carolina. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

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