As the bad news on distracted driving continues to grow, there is some good news in the war against drunk driving. A new study indicates that the popularity of ridesharing apps like Lyft and Uber is contributing to a drop in drunk driving collisions.
The study was conducted in New York, and focused on those areas of the city that had been very quick to adopt Uber. Researchers compared accident rates in each of the city’s five boroughs, and found that the rate of alcohol-related car collisions dropped significantly in those boroughs which had quickly adopted Uber. In Staten Island, where Uber took a longer time to gain popularity, the rate remained the same. Earlier reports have also indicated some impact of ridesharing apps on people’s decisions and actions related to driving after consuming alcohol.
However, another study conducted last July yielded vastly different findings. According to data collected from around the country, ridesharing seems to have no effect on the number of people killed in drunk driving accidents on weekends or major holidays. Those researchers point to the fact that there still aren’t enough ridesharing drivers on the road to actually make a dent in the high rates of intoxicated driving on major holidays and weekends.
Therefore, it’s difficult to tell exactly what kind of effect ridesharing apps have on drunk driving, and it seems premature to draw any cause-and-effect conclusions from this latest research. But our drunk driving accident lawyers believe that any reduction in drunk driving is definitely a cause for celebration. Overall, studies do seem to indicate that people who have transportation choices – especially convenient, and easy choices like Uber and Lyft – are less likely to drive after drinking. That keeps everybody on the road safer and is something we should all be working to expand.
It also reduces the responsibility of the designated driver, long used as an effective way to get intoxicated revelers home safely. The designated driving theory only works if the driver stays away from alcohol the entire evening. That is often easier said than done. With a ridesharing app, you do not have to worry about traveling with an intoxicated driver who may believe they are only buzzed and just as capable to handle all the responsibilities necessary when behind the wheel.