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It's not rocket science. We would assume that rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft would reduce the number of people who get behind the wheel when they've been drinking. We want to think that people will take advantage of ways to keep the roads safer. But is this actually supported by data?
We're not doctors or lawyers, we won't give medical or legal advice. We're also not academic research experts. But we do try our best to keep up with the latest in our industry, and that includes reviewing studies and reports published on drunk driving.
The results vary by study, and data is somewhat limited by the fact that ridesharing hasn't been around for a very long time. Some studies show a bigger link between ridesharing services and a reduction in crashes, but some studies are a little less convinced. One well-respected study that looked at how ridesharing could reduce alcohol-involved crashes reported that the results varied widely even among different cities. Because of specific local characteristics and other variables, it's hard to make a strong generalization about how these services impact motor vehicle safety and the prevention of drunk driving.
Another study conducted by Uber itself (in partnership with MADD) found that Uber ridership peaks at the same time as historical drunk driving crashes. While this doesn't necessarily prove that ridesharing stops drunk driving, it may show that people are choosing to utilize the services most after they've been drinking. Uber claims that it is working toward a future where "more people in more cities around the nation are empowered with more options that lead to better, safer choices" which has the potential to improve the scary drunk driving statistics over time.
When you choose to drink alcohol, you then have to choose what happens next. This single choice can have major impacts on the rest of your life. While the national effects of ridesharing services on drunk driving may not be concrete, you know for sure that choosing to call Uber, Lyft, or another company means that you will not get behind the wheel after drinking. So don't worry so much about the statistics, worry about your future and the safety of others on the road. Whether you choose sober driving or a ride from these companies or some other safe option, make sure you know and follow the DUI and DWI laws. Follow our blog for more information on issues related to alcohol, motor vehicles, and affordable IID options.
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