Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

Using Uber instead of driving drunk could save lives

Maryland residents have probably heard of car-sharing services like Uber whether a program like this operates in their area or not, but findings from Temple University indicate that there are good reasons for cities to keep using and to expand services like those offered by Uber. Researchers looked at data from California between 2009 and 2014 and found that Uber and other car-sharing services reduced the number of drunk driving homicides.

While Uber offers different levels of services, researchers found a 3.6 to 5.6 percent decrease in deaths related to driving under the influence when using Uber X, the company's most basic one. The researchers estimated that this could save 500 lives every year as well as protect the economy against $1.3 billion in losses. This is the first independent study to confirm Uber's claims that the company helps clients who have had too much to drink.

Some cities have sought to restrict or eliminate car-sharing services because they take away business from the taxi industry, which follows stricter regulations. However, taking away car-sharing services only decreases competition and does not increase the number of cabs available. This might mean that those who cannot find a cab will drive even though they are impaired. Researchers suggested that taxis might be able to better compete with services like Uber if cities focused on loosening some regulations instead of adding regulations for car-sharing services, as the data suggested that accidents not related to alcohol didn't rise in areas where Uber was present.

Drunk driving accidents can result in serious injuries to pedestrians or others who are on the road at the time. Those who have been a victim of such an accident may want to speak with a personal injury attorney to determine the most advisable method of recovering damages from the responsible party.

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