When Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed limiting Uber services in New York City, he cited safety as a concern. Research coming out of Temple University, however, has actually revealed an association between Uber and a reduction in fatal drunk driving accidents.
Two researchers from the university's Fox School of Business analyzed data collected between 2009 and 2014 in California. When people in an area began using the ride-sharing service Uber X, fatal drunk driving accidents fell by 3.6 percent to 5.6 percent. Extrapolating these findings onto a nationwide canvas, the researchers estimated that ride-sharing services could save 500 lives a year based on an approximate national death toll of about 13,000 deaths a year in DUI accidents. The economic costs that arise from these deaths might also be reduced by $1.3 billion annually.
The competition that Uber presents to the taxi industry has led to a backlash in numerous cities. When taxi companies act to protect their territories, the researchers asserted that they could be endangering lives. A lack of taxis could cause people who have been drinking to drive their own cars instead of getting a ride.
Although taxis and ride-sharing services offer alternatives to intoxicated driving, drunk driving accidents remain a reality. People who have been injured in an accident that was caused by a drunk driver often face high medical bills and long recovery periods during which they lose wages if they are unable to return to work. An injured victim may want to consult with a personal injury attorney to determine how best to attempt to seek compensation from the impaired motorist for the losses that have been sustained.