Rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft have been credited with keeping more impaired, dangerous drivers off the road. With a rideshare app, a rider can summon a car with an app on their phone and pay for the ride using their credit card. Rideshare apps are extremely popular, especially for individuals who are too impaired by drugs or alcohol to drive safely. It would seem that rideshare apps would lead to a decrease in car accidents. However, researchers at the University of Chicago found that these apps may actually be contributing to more traffic deaths.
According to researchers, motor vehicle fatalities and fatal accidents have increased by about 3% since the advent of rideshare apps. The study reviewed traffic statistics in various U.S. cities both before rideshare apps Uber and Lyft were launched and after. The study analyzed the volume of traffic, transportation choices, and the number and types of accidents. In 2010, 32,885 people died on U.S. roads compared to 37,400 in 2016, five years after the launch of Uber and Lyft in major cities. Overall there was a 3% increase in the number of deaths annually since 2011, and it appears to be worsening as the apps become more popular.
Reasons for the Increase
Researchers note that there isn’t one overarching reason for the increase in fatalities but hypothesize that there could be a number of contributing factors. Apps like Uber and Lyft put more vehicles on the road. These apps strive to keep as many cars on the road as possible at any given time. This, in turn, leads to more accidents. In addition, many rideshare drivers are pressured to spend long hours on the road because if they don’t drive, then they don’t get paid. This can lead to fatigue and poor driving decisions.
Additionally, many people who would normally have walked or biked to a destination are now relying on rideshare apps to transport them. The study reports that fewer than half of rideshare rides in nine major metro areas actually substitute for a trip that would have been made by car. This means that more people are riding in vehicles and there are fewer pedestrians and bicyclists.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a rideshare accident, you should consult with an experienced car accident attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have been helping car accident victims for over 50 years. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.