Many Albuquerque residents are firm believers in ridesharing. They love that they don’t have to find parking spaces (especially difficult to do downtown) and they don’t have to worry about traffic. Everything is in the hands of the Uber or Lyft driver – and according to a new study, that might be a problem.
While ridesharing reduces the number of drunk driving wrecks, it offsets that gain by increasing the number of other types of motor vehicle crashes, say researchers at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Motorists and pedestrians are both vulnerable at pick-up and drop-off points, the study published in the journal Injury Prevention states.
Car accidents are one of the main causes of deaths globally, with approximately 1.3 million fatalities each year of people involved in violent vehicle collisions. In the U.S., more than 33,500 were killed in vehicle crashes with another 2.3 million people injured.
Ridesharing services such as Lyft and Uber have provided more than 11 billion trips in the U.S. over the decade since their 2010 launch. While a number of studies have shown that alcohol-related vehicle crashes decrease when these services become available in cities, research also shows that there has been no overall decrease in the number of accidents.
What do the numbers say?
The researchers analyzed 372 million rideshare trips in New York City in 2007 and 2008. They determined where motor vehicle crashes occurred and then calculated the number of ridesharing trips that originated nearby at the same time. They then compared the number of trips in the same spot to the number of trips on the week before the crash and one week after the crash.
They did the same procedure for taxis, all while keeping track of the numbers of motorists, pedestrians and cyclists who were injured in the rideshare-involved and taxi-involved crashes. They found that increases in ridesharing were linked to the increase in crashes in which motorists and pedestrians are injured. They did not find links for bicyclist crashes or for taxis.
An author of the study said the rise of ridesharing has decreased the number of alcohol-involved wrecks, but that “the reductions in alcohol-related crashes are off-set by increases in other types of crashes.” While everyone can celebrate a decrease in drunk driving crashes, it has come with a stiff price: an increase in other wrecks that results in no gains in safety.
If you have been harmed by a rideshare driver or drunk driver, contact an Albuquerque attorney experienced in obtaining full compensation in personal injury litigation.