woman using ride-sharing apps

If you live in a large city, or in some cases, even smaller town and possess a smartphone, chances are you have used the ride-sharing apps known as Uber and Lyft. These services are actually quite simple to use. Once you have opened the app and requested a ride, and have disclosed your destination, the app will connect you to a nearby driver. Once the driver accepts the destination invitation, you will be notified and are able to view their profile and their approximate estimated time of arrival in minutes. Once they arrive they will drive you to your location, where you will give them a rating and a final cost of your ride, generally cheaper than a standard yellow taxi. This technique of transportation has been credited with lowering the amount of drunk driving car accidents throughout America.

What Do the Studies Show?

Several studies have been conducted since the arrival of ride-sharing companies entered the streets of America. For example, Temple University hosted a study that found a decrease in drinking and driving deaths of between 3.6 and 5.6 percent on weekdays between 2009 to 2014 in California cities that allowed Uber to operate. The study did not focus on the data that could have been collected on the weekend. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System discovered that car accident rates tended to drop significantly after Uber began to offer their services in these areas. The results were also found to be similar for arrests made for DUI and additional methods of crime related to public intoxication.

car crash

An alternative study, which was published in a 2014 article, found that Uber stated a 10% decrease in drunk driving arrests in the city of Seattle resulting from the company’s entrance into the city. A report Uber co-authored with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) declared that Uber was the reason for avoiding as many as 1,800 drunk driving car accidents in California over approximately a three year period starting in 2012 using data from previous years.

Alternatives to Driving Drunk

  • sober-driverDesignate a sober driver: If you know you’ll be drinking, plan before going out with you friends by designating a sober motorist for the evening. A designated driver will promise to remain completely sober for the night to guarantee every person in the car gets home in one piece.
  • If you are a AAA member, use their Tips Tow Service when available: Tipsy Tow will come to your location after phoning the hotline and tow your vehicle, the driver and one passenger to your home, inside a fifteen mile range and only up to two A.M.
  • Call a sober friend or family member who can pick you up: If you discover yourself intoxicated and in need of a ride, it’s safer and legal to call a friend or family member to come pick you up. Tell this person before going out that you may call to catch a ride home, so they are prepared to do so before they make plans of their own.
  • public-transportationUse public transportation: Use public transportation to avoid getting behind the wheel of your vehicle. Depending upon where you live and the timing of your needed ride, there are numerous transportation choices to choose from, such as subways, buses and rail systems.
  • Use services such as a taxis, Uber or Lyft: Although the services may cost you money, the resulting fee is much cheaper and safer than the legal costs that would come from court dates and damages resulting from a car accident.

Contact a Providence Car Accident Lawyer

Providence Personal Injury LawyerIf you or someone you know has been injured a car accident due to a drunk driver, contact one of our experienced Providence car accident lawyers located at 390 Broadway, Providence, RI 02909. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering, among other losses. No fees are received unless you win your case. For a free (no obligation) case evaluation, call us at 401-831-8600 or toll free at 1-800-992-6878. You may also fill out our contact form online.

Author Photo

Paul d’Oliveira

Attorney Paul d’Oliveira has been practicing personal injury and disability law for over 30 years. He started his personal injury law practice in 1989 with two offices in Fall River, MA and East Providence, RI. Today his firm has 15 offices in RI and Southeastern, MA.

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