Ride sharing companies such as Lyft and Uber have been in the news a lot lately as concerns over passenger safety, insurance coverage gaps, and taxi driver protests have come to light.What you might not have heard as much about is the impact that ride sharing has had on general highway traffic safety.

Does ride sharing reduce car accidents? A recent study conducted by Angela Dills and Sean Mulholland suggests that it does. The team studied the effect of Uber’s introduction into 150 cities and countries spanning a three-year period. They determined that after allowing for some previously disregarded effects, ride sharing actually increased personal safety dramatically.

Data showed that the rate of traffic deaths and DUI arrests dropped once Uber began to operate in any given jurisdiction. Arrests for disorderly conduct and assault dropped as well, although rates of vehicle theft did sometimes increase. Furthermore, the study authors found some evidence for increased benefits the longer Uber operates in the area. This could translate to even fewer accidents and more saved lives.

The team’s location-specific research determined that after Uber’s introduction, the DUI arrest rate for that location dropped significantly- anywhere from 15 to 62 percent, depending on the location.

The authors also determined that the number of deadly accidents, deadly night-time crashes, and the number of vehicular deaths per 100,000 residents declined with the presence of Uber in a community. Beyond the initial decrease in fatalities, the study determined that a 16.6 percent annual decrease in fatalities was documented for each year of Uber’s continued operation in that community.

Further Reading: Important Facts About Wrong-Way Collisions

These benefits could be due in large part to the popularity of ride sharing with young people- 28 percent of 18- to 29-year olds have reported hitching a ride with one of the ride sharing companies. This group is also the group of drivers most likely to be involved in a car accident.

Beyond reducing the number of traffic accidents and fatalities, it appears that ride sharing has also reduced the number of arrests for disorderly conduct and aggravated assault. Authors credit shorter customer wait times for the decline in arrests for these offenses in areas where Uber operates. Combined with removing the need to physically search for a ride, the opportunities for conflict and resulting altercations have been eliminated.

One low point discovered by researchers was an increase in the number of automobile thefts in areas of Uber operation. This could be a result of more automobiles left parked in public places when drivers take an Uber home at night. And while automobile theft is costly and disruptive, the implications of this crime should be weighed against the life-saving benefits of ride sharing when determining how to regulate these companies.

Contact Our Denver Car Accident Lawyers

Lakewood Personal Injury Lawyers at Paysinger Law, P.C.When your accident and injuries are caused by another driver’s negligence, it is important to understand that you have a legal right to seek compensation. How much compensation you receive depends largely on the attorney you hire to represent your case. In Denver, car accident victims and their families turn to Denver car accident attorney Robert Paysinger to fight for their rights. Contact the Denver attorneys at Paysinger Law, P.C. today to discuss your case. Our law firm offers FREE case consultations and can be reached at 303.279.0221.

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