Can drunk driving arrests be reduced by driving services? Uber and Lyft are supposed to reduce drunk driving crashes across the country, according to conventional wisdom. There is, however, some disagreement over whether this is true or not. Research conducted by the NIH suggests that ride-sharing services may not have as much impact on drunk driving arrests and crashes as people think.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has reported findings from its research. Nearly 80 percent of the people polled said that their friends are less likely to drive drunk with options like Uber. MADD also reported a 7 percent decrease in drunk driving incidents in cities with rideshare options.
There is another logic shared by many that if drinkers do not have to drive and can depend on calling a ride, many will drink more, and some will drink a whole lot more. Ride-hailing can reduce drunk driving, and that’s a big benefit, but does it lead to increased drinking?
Brad says, “I believe there is a real awareness today of drunk driving and the ramifications of it and the ability to prevent it. Young people tend to take more advantage of ridesharing options than older adults.”
Studies have also shown that 50 percent of teenagers who die in car accidents are, in fact, passengers, not drivers. “As a parent, it’s important to talk to your kids and let them know they can reach you anytime to come and pick them up. Set up an Uber or Lyft account for your kids, especially if they are college-aged, so they don’t ever feel obligated to get in the car with a drunk driver.”
Reducing the number of drunk drivers on roadways should be priority. Drunk driving is 100 percent preventable. It has been nearly a decade since the introduction of ridesharing as an alternative to driving under the influence, so there will surely be additional information in the coming years that shows the impact of these types of services. In the meantime, it is safe to say that giving folks the option of a safe ride home is beneficial when it comes to stopping people from getting behind the wheel after drinking.
Drunk Driving Dilemma
- Over 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in the United States. This figure is about one-third of all traffic-related deaths.
- Among children up to 14 years old, 209 of 1,132 traffic deaths involved a driver who was impaired by alcohol.
- Approximately 1.1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
- About 111 million individuals reported they drove while they believe they were impaired by alcohol.
* According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) most recent studies.
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