Many people have experienced it; you drive out to meet your friends at the bar for a drink or two and end up drinking way more than you expected. You’re over the legal limit, but you still need to get home. This is the case for many rideshare users.
Uber and Lyft are much more convenient to order than a taxi, and in many cases, they come out cheaper. Millennials have turned these companies into multi-million dollar giants in just a few years, as nearly half of those aged 18-49 use rideshare apps in a study conducted by Pew Research. One in ten users of these ridesharing services say they use them every week.
It’s hoped that people who use these ridesharing services are not shy about ordering them when they’ve been drinking. 29 Americans die each day as a result of drunk driving accidents, and by pulling out their phone and ordering a ride, the intoxicated don’t have to worry about hurting someone and/or getting arrested.
A Sherman Oaks personal injury attorney can attest to how devasting drunk driving accidents are, as the intoxicated driver’s slow reaction times, if they even react, cause a harder impact. They are also often speeding, which leads to more damage in a car accident.
Have Uber and Lyft Lowered DUI Accidents?
Uber conducted a study that found drunk driving rates have declined in major cities where the rideshare app has set up services, and a separate study in New York City found that there has been a 25-35% decrease in the number of drunk driving incidents compared to areas where Uber doesn’t operate. This is a significant decrease that adds up to almost 40 collisions a month, potentially saving 40 or more lives. A Philadelphia study found that mortality rates associated with drunk driving were 5.6% lower in cities where Uber was used.
However, the American Journal of Epidemiology found no correlation between the presence of rideshare apps and the drunk driving rates of 100 cities.
This is a difficult factor to measure, as these two apps definitely make it easier for those who want to avoid drunk driving. However, intoxicated individuals have impaired judgment, so in many cases, they may not be capable of making the decision not to drive.
An Ohio judge recently started giving out sentences where defendants in drunk driving cases must download Uber or Lyft as part of their punishment. While statistics are still up in the air, lawyers for Uber drivers agree that having a rideshare app available is an attempt to get people to make better choices.