AN independent study released earlier this year by researchers at Temple University suggests that UberX, Uber’s economy driving service, reduced drinking and driving deaths in the Californian cities where it operates.
The study conducted by professors Brad Greenwood and Sunil Wattal compares alcohol-related crashes within Californian cities where UberX operates with those that do not have Uber. Typically, people who decide to drive under the influence weigh the costs of searching and paying for taxis, the probability of being stopped by police, or the probability of accidents. The research looked at how the existence of Uber affects that decision and consequently, alcohol related driving accidents. The conclusion was that the presence of the UberX service resulted in a decrease of drinking and driving fatalities between 3.6 and 5.6 percent. Basically, when a cheap and convenient alternative exists for the long way home after a long night out, people intelligently choose not to drink and drive.
The study also points out that 13,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to drunk-driving accidents at a cost of $37 billion (U.S.). If the statistics from the study were applicable nation-wide, the existence of a service like UberX could save approximately 500 lives annually.
Uber is a mobile application company based in San Francisco that connects passengers with drivers all over the world. Currently, Uber operates in 59 countries and in over 300 cities worldwide.