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Is Uber reducing drunk driving? New study says NO

BurgerTiime

Well-Known Member
(Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)
A new study casts doubt on Uber’s claim that ride-sharing has reduced drunken driving.

Researchers at Oxford University and the University of Southern California who examined county-level data in the United States before and after the arrival of Uber and its competitors in those markets found that ride-sharing had no effect on drinking-related or holiday- and weekend-related fatalities.


One reason could be that, despite the soaring popularity of Uber and other ride-sharing services, there still may not be enough ride-share drivers available yet to make a dent on drunken driving, the authors said. They also suggest that the tipsy riders who now call Uber are the ones who formerly would have called a taxi. For others, the odds of getting a DUI are still so low that many would prefer to gamble rather than lay out money for a ride-sharing service. Drunks, after all, are just not rational.

“The takeaway for me is that there’s still tons of room for improvement when it comes to reducing drunk driving fatalities,” David Kirk, a co-author of the study, said Wednesday in an interview via Skype.

The new study — which was published July 22 in the American Journal of Epidemiology — adds a new element to the debate over the merits of the popular and disruptive business model.

Uber pointed to other recent research that back up its contention that ride-sharing cuts down on drunken driving. A paper co-authored by researchers at Providence College and Stonehill College found reductions in DUI’s of as much as 62 percent, as well as declines in fatal accidents.

The company also said surveys show at least 80 percent of its riders have said that the service helped them avoid drinking and driving, and that its peak usage coincides with times when people are barhopping and partying.

“We’re glad Uber can provide an alternative to drunk driving and help people make more responsible choices,” Uber spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said in an email. “Our ridership numbers show that trips peak at times when people are more likely to be out drinking and 80% of riders says that Uber has helped them personally avoid drinking and driving.”


Drunk driving is the largest cause of traffic fatalities, claiming more 10,000 lives a year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Uber, meanwhile, is now operating in 490 cities around the world, and its use as an on-call designated driver is part of its marketing appeal. The San Francisco-based company’s website claims that drunk driving-related crashes fell by 60 per month among drivers under 30 years old in the California markets where UberX began operating, thereby preventing an estimated 1,800 crashes since July 2012. Uber also has partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to reduce drunk driving. “A city with Uber has . . . fewer drunk drivers on the streets,” Uber has said.
But Kirk, a professorial fellow at Nuffield College and associate professor of sociology at the University of Oxford, and co-author Noli Brazil, a researcher at USC’s Spatial Sciences Institute, said people should be skeptical of such broad claims.

The authors analyzed the county by county traffic fatalities from 2005 to 2014 in the 100 most populated metropolitan areas, comparing those areas where Uber had arrived to those where ride-sharing had not, and then controlling for differences. The authors examined drunk driving-related, weekend- and holiday-specific crashes. They found no association with the number of subsequent traffic fatalities in those categories.

One factor may be the sheer size of the problem and still relatively low number of Uber drivers. Although approximately 450,000 people now drive for Uber, there are 210 million licensed drivers in the United States — and an estimated 4.2 million adults who drive impaired, the study says.


“Sure, there are over 1 million arrests for drunk driving a year in the United States. . . .ut that’s nothing compared to the number of people and the number of incidents of drunk driving,” Kirk said. “In the grand scheme of the massive volume of drunk drivers on the road, it’s hard to foresee Uber making a dent, unless the growth continues like it has for several more years.”



Kirk said that the authors were somewhat surprised at the lack of research on Uber’s impact on drunken driving. After scouring the literature, the authors could find only one other academic study of Uber’s impact on drunken driving. That study — which was conducted by Brad Greenwood and Sunil Wattal at Temple University — examined data from California and found that the low-cost UberX service had “yielded a significant reduction” in traffic fatalities while the luxury UberBlack had not

The growth of Uber and its competitors suggests that more research needs to be done.

“I’m not saying Uber might not have an effect in the future,” Kirk said. “As of now, I think there are other opportunities to lower drunk driving.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/tripping/wp/2016/07/27/is-uber-reducing-drunk-driving-new-study-says-no/
 
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Jeff1205

Well-Known Member
We all know that it hasn't stopped people from drinking and driving but you cannot tell me that it hasn't made some kind of impact? I have had a few bar pickups where the PAX have told me they use to take the risk but now that Uber is everywhere they don't risk it anymore and call an Uber.
 

Way2Lucky

Member
We all know that it hasn't stopped people from drinking and driving but you cannot tell me that it hasn't made some kind of impact? I have had a few bar pickups where the PAX have told me they use to take the risk but now that Uber is everywhere they don't risk it anymore and call an Uber.
It stopped the smart ones but I've watched many a drunk stagger out to their car and drive off while I wait for my one/two pax. The formerly full parking lot is empty by the end of the night and I only drove two people home. All those cars didn't drive themselves.
 

LA Cabbie

Well-Known Member
Like some posters here said, Uber increased consumption of Alcohol because pax get cocky and say I'll call Uber. Unfortunately something we all know about drunkards is that they think they are superman or wonder woman and can do anything. So they get behind the wheel.

Many a times I picked up drunkards from the bar that were given vouchers to get home for free and their friends will even ask to accompany them home just to make sure. Nope. I'm fine, they would say. Once I pull around the corner they request that I take them to their car. I always try to talk them out of it. Can't take their keys or confine them to the cab. That would be assault and false imprisonment, respectively.

I once watched a beautiful young woman who after promising all her friends that she would not drive and simply sleep in the car once I got her to the car she got in and took off on the 170. Nothing I could do. All protocols were followed to ensure this young woman not drive drunk.

My humble opinion is that Uber increases DUI's because more alcohol is being consumed and drunkards will be drunkards no matter what.
 

trickynikki

Active Member
Uber is so full of excrement when it says that it helps to reduce DWIs.
I have checked stats before and this one proves my point.
http://www.edmontonpolice.ca/TrafficVehicles/AlcoholBreathTesting/ImpairedDrivingStatistics.aspx

2015 showed a decrease from 2014. Uber started in 2014, however the decrease was about the same from 2013 to 2014 when the was no Uber. Also look and you will see that some years there were more charges during checks stops in some years. This is because they had more check stops. 2006 and 2007 had fewer charges and 2015 are about the same. Do you know why? It is due to the economy.
Uber wants people to believe that they are the answer to everything.
Another state is from Calgary. From 2013 to 2014 there was a 61% reduction in impaired related fatalities. There was no Uber operating in Calgary during those years. Uber is a company full of lies.
 

Fuzzyelvis

Well-Known Member
It stopped the smart ones but I've watched many a drunk stagger out to their car and drive off while I wait for my one/two pax. The formerly full parking lot is empty by the end of the night and I only drove two people home. All those cars didn't drive themselves.
There was a lottery winner a few years who kept getting DUIs. He won hundreds of millions. Could've had several private drivers on hand with a limo 24 hours a day the rest of his life. Some people simply don't think it's an issue. Those folks probably are a large portion of the VERY drunk drivers who get one DUI after another.

On the other hand, there are many folks who used to drive home short distances slightly impaired and 99% of the time they are lucky. Unless someone pulls out in front of them or cuts into their lane they make it home safely. They drive slowly, stop at lights--so long as nothing unusual which requires a quick reaction time happens they are fine. I think many of those folks stopped doing that. Many people have told me that Ubering from midtown is cheaper than paying for parking, in any case, and now they can get drunker without worrying about driving.

So I think more people are drinking, but the ones that were causing the really bad accidents are still on the road, whereas the uptick in drinking is by those who were previously driving impaired, but were only driving short distances and trying to be careful.

The folks that used to walk home slightly drunk are also not really going to affect the statistics because they weren't driving to begin with. I am curious if pedestrian accidents at closing time are down--not just auto hitting pedestrians, but falls and so on by drunks walking home.

I think Uber is creating a huge liver cirrhosis increase in the future. I have to believe more alcohol is being consumed per capita since its start, although I don't know the stats.
 

renbutler

Well-Known Member
I know for a fact that I've prevented some drunk driving. The passengers tell me so.

Whether it's a tiny amount overall, or a lot, well, that's up for debate. But the arguments that Uber has INCREASED DUIs is just silly, illogical bitterness.
 

trickynikki

Active Member
There has been an increase of private designated driver programs. There are those things called taxis. Bar owners like Uber because people drink more.
Using fatalities as a statistical look at DWIS is pretty good. The stats for only charges doesn't mean much. Some cities have shown a decrease when the economy is hurting and the police are busy investigating other crimes. Also many police departments were getting extra funding to catch drunk drivers up until a couple of years ago.
The City of Calgary had a decrease of 61% of deaths from drunk driving when there is no Uber.
Uber like to claim themselves as the savior of all things. There has been decreases in DWIs in many places with or without Uber. In some cities the rate of DWIs is closely tied to the economy. When the economy is booming there is an increase. Sure there could be a decrease of sorts due to Uber, but for Uber to make such claims is pure rubbish. Taxis have been ferrying the drunks around for years and you don't hear them making the same claims as Uber.
 

renbutler

Well-Known Member
In my city, people in the suburbs hate cabs. We are a very large city geographically, so sometimes it can take 1.5 to 2 hours to get a cab, if they even come at all.

Uber is quite popular around here because you can almost always get a ride within 15 minutes.

I almost never see cabs on the roads in Indy, except around the airport.
 

trickynikki

Active Member
In my city, people in the suburbs hate cabs. We are a very large city geographically, so sometimes it can take 1.5 to 2 hours to get a cab, if they even come at all.

Uber is quite popular around here because you can almost always get a ride within 15 minutes.

I almost never see cabs on the roads in Indy, except around the airport.
Where I live it is also very large geographically . People say that it takes 2 to 3 hours for a cab. It is all BS. The cab companies must provide the city with their dispatch reports. It turns out that the average wait times or between 7 and 9 minutes. Sure it can take longer out in the suburbs but we have all heard the stories before about how bad cabs are. If such stories are true about taxis then nobody would have gotten home at night. And yes, Uber can provide fast service at busy times because Uber has found ways to recruit drivers, pay guarantees which keeps a surplus of cars on the road. There is also that added incentive of surge. Then the drivers soon learn that the money is not worth it and move on. Then Uber does the same thing to the next recruit.
 

renbutler

Well-Known Member
Well, they were talking about peak times. These have been passengers with real-world experience, who had no discernable reason to lie about it.

I have also heard frequent complaints about the quality of the taxis, rude drivers, and dangerous situations.

Of course, I have heard those things about Uber rides too, but at a lesser frequency.
 

trickynikki

Active Member
Well, they were talking about peak times. These have been passengers with real-world experience, who had no discernable reason to lie about it.

I have also heard frequent complaints about the quality of the taxis, rude drivers, and dangerous situations.

Of course, I have heard those things about Uber rides too, but at a lesser frequency.
Note doubt that it happens. Also that people do lie and exaggerate. Have you ever had a rider that said they have waited longer than what your app shows?
Have riders also entered the wrong address? Are there creepy UBER drivers?
People have always hated cabs, dump trucks, trucks and most commercial vehicles. The appearance of Uber being a per to peer service is very misleading but the public somehow has this love affair for all things Uber. If the general public was truly informed about Uber and the way it operates the opinion would be vastly different. Uber is a facade and what is behind that image is greatly different.
 

renbutler

Well-Known Member
Have you ever had a rider that said they have waited longer than what your app shows?
Not to me. The only comments about wait times that I've heard is that I got there earlier than expected.

Have riders also entered the wrong address?
Not that I recall.

Are there creepy UBER drivers?
I've heard a couple such stories.

People have always hated cabs, dump trucks, trucks and most commercial vehicles. The appearance of Uber being a per to peer service is very misleading but the public somehow has this love affair for all things Uber.
Or, I provide a good service in a clean vehicle, so I generally hear positive comments.

Anyway, you simply do not know my market. I live in the suburbs, and there are literally nearly zero taxis on the road around here. It's an oddity if you do see one, ever.
 

DriverX

Well-Known Member
We all know that it hasn't stopped people from drinking and driving but you cannot tell me that it hasn't made some kind of impact? I have had a few bar pickups where the PAX have told me they use to take the risk but now that Uber is everywhere they don't risk it anymore and call an Uber.
Your right there is an impact, but 99.9% of those drunk or tipsy drivers made it home safely and weren't busted for DUI before Uber anyway.

People can handle a vehicle safely enough beyond the legal limit, so the cops were mainly busting the obvious drunks and those people are still out there, unless it was a check point.

You could make an argument that Uber is increasing the tendency for people to binge drink more often. I'd be curious to see bar/restaurant alcohol sales figures since rideshare.

Uber could start charging the rider or the bar a fee for picking up there. Like the airport fee. If this was shared with the driver I'd be all for it. Extra $2 for driver and $1 for Uber if the pick up is at or near drinking establishments.
 

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