Since 2012, nearly 300,000 people have driven drunk every day. That’s enough people to fill a football stadium more than four times over.  It is estimated that every 52 minutes someone is killed in a drunk driving crash.  With ridesharing services like Uber, this is beginning to change.  Now, you can tap a button to request a safe, reliable ride home.

Uber has partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to empower more people to make the right choice; where a safe, reliable ride home is always within reach. They discovered that when people have more options, they make better, safer choices.

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The freedom and flexibility of the Uber platform, in which driver-partners are free to log on or log off whenever they want helps people have a reliable option to get home. Supply increases when demand increases, which means the bigger the city the more drivers there are and the more people requesting rides.

Uber and MADD wrote a report about the affects Uber has on drunk driving in US cities. Their findings revealed that since the launch of UberX in California, monthly alcohol-related crashes decreased by 6.5% or (59.21 per month) among drivers under 30.  Their findings also revealed that in cities where UberX is not operating there is an average of 697 alcohol-related crashes per month, which is up from last year.

Part of this report was a survey that asked people if services like Uber meaningfully reduced drunk driving in their cities. Their answers may surprise you.

  • 88% of people over the age of 21 agree with the statement that “Uber has made it easier for me to avoid driving home when I’ve had too much to drink.”
  • 78% of people say that since Uber launched in their city, their friends are less likely to drive after drinking.
  • 57% of people agreed with the statement “Without Uber, I’d probably end up driving more after drinking at a bar or restaurant.”

Temple University’s Brad Greenwood and Sunil Wattal put out a new study which finds that cheap taxi-like options make it easier for people to make the decision to call for a ride, when drinking. If the benefits of Uber in California were extended to the entire country, ridesharing would save billions of dollars and hundreds of lives.  The study states:

“Economically, results indicate that the entrance of UberX results in a 3.6 percent – 5.6 percent decrease in the rate of motor vehicle homicides per quarter in the state of California. With more than 13k deaths occurring nationally each year due to alcohol related car crashes at a cost of 37 billion dollars, results indicate that a complete implementation of UberX would create a public welfare net of over 1.3 billion to American taxpayers and save roughly 500 lives annually”

California has been a part of UberX’s rollout since it first began in 2012, which helps researchers look at what happens when Uber or other ridesharing companies can saturate a city with enough drivers to change consumer behavior.

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Uber, Lyft and other ride sharing companies are not just saving people time and money, but are also saving lives.

What are your thoughts? Do you think that Uber can continue to reduce the amount of drunk driving accidents in California?

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