Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are very effective in helping reduce the risk of drunk driving auto accidents, but may not be really useful in preventing other types of car accidents. In fact, the drop in drunk driving car accident wrongful deaths could actually be offset by the deaths in other types of auto accidents in which these ridesharing services are more likely to be involved.
In a new study. researchers compared car accident rates involving Uber and Lyft vehicles in cities where these are available. The researchers did not compare cities where ridesharing services are available with those where these services are not. Rather, they compared individual ride hailing trips and compared the car accidents involving these trips.
They found that overall, the services were definitely helpful in reducing the risk of drunk driving auto accidents for obvious reasons. Safety advocates recommend that a person who is intoxicated choose a ride sharing service or taxicab instead of driving himself in an intoxicated condition. To this extent, Uber and Lyft services seem to be very beneficial in helping intoxicated persons reach home safely without getting behind the wheel themselves. While intoxicated drivers may have other options, including mass transit or taxis, rideshare services seem to win out because of speed, convenience and ease of use to users who are more likely to prefer these.
However, these cars are also involved in a high number of auto accidents at pick up and drop off locations. Very often, drivers are distracted during these times because they are trying to locate the person who booked the ride and the distraction could cause them to be involved in a car accident. These drivers are also very likely to be involved in auto accidents at drop off points. In fact, the researchers say that the high number of car accidents at pick up and drop off locations actually offsets the drop in drunk driving auto accidents associated with the use of the services.
Moreover, cities that do have ride sharing services do see an increase in other types of accidents, including pedestrian accidents, possibly because of distracted rideshare drivers. Cities that have rideshare services also seem to have high amounts of alcohol consumption, and researchers want cities to be aware of these facts before they decide to allow ridesharing services within their borders.
While ride sharing services are extremely popular in the cities that they have been introduced in, the car accident prevention benefits of these are not really tangible. The researchers hope that the results of the study are evaluated by Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing service operators to understand how safety can be increased for drivers as well as passengers who use these services.
The Atlanta car crash attorneys at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons injured in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and determine if you have legal options to a claim for damages. You may be eligible for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost income and other types of damages. Talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case.