Can Uber Reduce DWI Accidents?
Written by Greg on February 23, 2015
Drunk driving can be a very complex issue in which its existence creates the potential for car accidents and legal ramifications, sometimes injuries and death. In addition, there are continued efforts in order to ensure that this issue is combated against. In recent months, there has been a great deal of buzz in the transportation sector about the possibility that Uber has decreased the number of drunk-driving related incidents due to its use.
In order to understand what the research says about this topic one must first understand what Uber, and similar technology is. Uber itself is an app for mobile and some tablet devices that acts as a mediator between individuals and driver; be it a tax service, private car, or through some type of rideshare. The premise is that Uber is only the way that communication takes place and the key is connecting one person from the other.
Generally, Uber has been considered extremely ideal because of its sheer convenience. One does not have to contact tax companies or private cars directly, but can use the app to pull up the nearest drivers and the appropriate rates. For instance, in Texas prices range from a basic fare of $1 plus $0.15 minute plus $1.10 per mile, all the way up to a base fare of $14 plus $0.45 per minute plus $4 per mile; all of which depends on the type of car. While the ease of use is without question, one must also wonder if Uber works to reduce DWI accidents as well.
In a recent study, which consisted of Uber itself and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, research has shown that since July 2012 monthly alcohol-related crashes have decreased 6.5% amongst drivers under 30 in California alone.
According to Amanda Eldredge, a victim service specialist for MADD, “Whether it be a taxi service, or Uber, or a non-drinking designated driver, it is a positive influence for our community.”
In this regard, one should note that, in Los Angeles alone 20% of all Uber’s weekend business typically happens from midnight to 4 a.m. This indicates that many passengers are inebriated and although, there is not significant data on other cities and the percentage concentration of which most pickup happens, similar scenarios are likely.
In another study, coming from Seattle, Uber was found to have lowered DUI arrests by 10%. Moreover, after partnering with the NFL for free rides, the league found that the overall DUIs for players and NFL staff members decreased by 80%. Many police departments have been mixed on Uber’s involvement with the decrease of DUIs and DWIs, while others cite the fact that Uber gave MADD a hefty donation right before the organization published its findings.
Despite these naysayers however, additional tangible research shows the connection between Uber and decreased drunk driving. As such, Uber still represents a vital and very easy-to-use tool in combating the potential for drunk driving. Not only does this ensure that intoxicated individuals get home safely, but also ensures that the roadways are kept safe as well. For all the negative press recently, everyone who drinks should consider Uber as a safer way home.