A new study suggests that app-based taxi services like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar have already led to a marked decline in drunk driving accident rates in busy urban centers. Commissioned by Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Uber, the project incorporatesd 19 cites and over 800 people in order to determine how likely or otherwise revelers were to use the new app-based services rather than consider driving home drunk.
The result were extremely reassuring – no less than 80% of those polled stated that their friends had shown much stronger interested in services like Uber when intending to go out drinking, rather than using their own cars. Since California saw the introduction of UberX in 2012, drunk-driving accidents and injuries have fallen by 6.5%, amounting to 1,800 fewer incidents during UberX’s time in business, or around 60 fewer accidents per month.
“The study found that Uber ridership in cities, including Miami and Pittsburgh, increases in early hours of the morning, while in Chicago three-quarters of Uber trips on New Year’s Eve were requested within 200 yards of an establishment with a liquor license,” reported USA Today.
Uber’s strategy chief, David Plouffe, made it clear that the report had been deliberately timed to highlight the difference such services could make when major events like the Super Bowl are playing out. One of the most notorious weekends of the year for drink driving incidents, Uber this year promised to make a donation to Mothers Against Drunk Driving for every service provided from 3pm to midnight on Super Bowl Sunday.
Of the 30,000 deaths recorded on US roads every year, an alarming 30% are known to have been caused by drink driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.