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Does a ride-sharing service really save lives?

It could easily be assumed that ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft would make a significant dent in the number of incidents of drunk driving in communities where these services are offered. Yet statistics may not bear that out.

According to research done by scientists from both Oxford University and the University of Southern California that was published recently in the American Journal of Epidemiology, "the deployment of Uber services in a given metropolitan county had no association with the number of subsequent traffic fatalities" in that same area. That was a comment made by a co-author of the study to The Washington Post.

The scientists compared fatalities from drunk driving accidents and auto fatalities occurring on holidays and weekends in different counties around the U.S. both prior to and after ride-sharing services were implemented. Their study centered on 100 of the most populous metropolitan regions of the nation.

It's possible that some inebriated drivers simply took a cab home and didn't get behind the wheel. Also, there may still be a dearth of drivers for Uber to have a definitive effect on the problem of impaired driving. Still other drivers may be willing to risk all be driving drunk even with other options available.

Uber commissioned its own study last year in conjunction with Mothers Against Drunk Driving and had markedly different findings. Their data showed a decline in accidents and drunk driving arrests when ride-sharing services were available in a location.

In their statement to the Post, Uber claimed that "80 [percent] of riders [say] that Uber has helped them personally avoid drinking and driving." An emailed statement sent to Fortune by a spokesperson for Uber clarified that their study "related only to DUI fatalities – not incidents."

If you are drinking, taking a ride-sharing service home makes good sense. But despite your best intentions, you are still at the mercies of other impaired motorists on the road. Seeking civil justice through the Illinois courts can help you with your recovery process after an accident.

Source: Fortune, "A New Study Says Uber Has Had No Impact on Drunk Driving," Sy Mukherjee, accessed Aug. 04, 2016

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