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Study Links Ridesharing With Reduced Drunk Driving Crashes

A young woman uses a rideshare app on her smartphone.

A Columbus Car Accident Lawyer Explains What Ohio Drivers Should Know

Drunk driving is dangerous behavior. When drivers get behind the wheel after having too much to drink, there is a higher risk of a car accident that can leave people with severe injuries. Drunk driving is against the law, but there are still people who drive while impaired by alcohol.  And every year, drunk driving crashes leave victims seriously hurt or killed.

Public information campaigns have spread the word about the dangers of drunk driving, such as “friends don’t let friends drive drunk” and “buzzed driving IS drunk driving.” These campaigns encourage people to get a ride if they’ll be drinking. And for many, that means calling a ridesharing service such as Uber or Lyft.

Researchers Took a Close Look at Crash Data

A new study by Columbia University Mailman School of Health shows that ridesharing may be having a positive effect. It finds that in at least one city, using a ridesharing service seems to have reduced the number of overall alcohol-impaired crashes.

Researchers looked at crash data in Chicago from November 2018 to December 2019, using statistics from the Chicago Data Portal. Chicago was chosen for the study because it’s one of the few locations in which rideshare data is released publicly, giving researchers access to more information.

The researchers matched 962 alcohol-involved crashes in Chicago during that period with 962 crashes that did not involve alcohol. In particular, they looked at the density per square mile of rideshare trips in progress at the time of the accident.

Christopher Morrison, one of the researchers who worked on the study, said the team was able to make some determinations based on the data they examined.

“We found the density of active rideshare trips near a crash site was associated with decreased odds that the crash was alcohol-involved,” he said. Morrison added the results are consistent with the idea that ridesharing replaces impaired-driving trips.

The study found for each increase of one rideshare trip per square mile, the odds of a crash involving alcohol decreased by 0.2%. Though that seems small, researchers point out the number of total rideshare trips and alcohol-involved crashes in Chicago means the overall impact could be significant.

A Way To Reduce Drunk Driving Crashes?

Ridesharing services can be found in 263 U.S. cities and have arranged more than 11 billion rides since beginning operations a decade ago. Ridesharing is a way to help people avoid drunk driving without the inconvenience of public transportation, making it potentially a very useful tool for reducing alcohol-impaired crashes.

When people are hurt in a drunk driving accident, their lives can change in seconds. Suddenly, they are left with serious injuries and need medical treatment. Medical expenses can add up quickly, but victims may not be able to work because of their injuries.

Recovering financial compensation can be complicated. Drunk drivers may fight any criminal charges and deny responsibility. Insurance companies may question the seriousness of injuries and try to pay as little as possible. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced car accident lawyer on your side.

If you were injured in a Columbus drunk driving crash, contact Mani Ellis & Layne PLLC. Our attorneys build strong cases and fight for the compensation our clients deserve. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.

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Columbus, OH

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Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 587-8423