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Uber may help prevent a drunk driving car accident in some cities

These blogs are posted on behalf of Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, LLC, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

One of the perks of using a smart phone is the variety of apps that the user can access to make some aspects of life easier or safer. One of those is the ride-sharing program started by Uber. A recent study was conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Injury Science Center to asses whether this service has reduced the risk of an alcohol-related car accident.

The study focused on four cities, three of which are located near the West Coast and one in the southern portion of the country. The researchers were surprised to learn that the service did seem to reduce these types of accidents in some of those cities but not in others. In some of the cities, the service did not seem to have any impact on the rates of any crashes. While the variety of public transportation may account for some of the figures, it was uncertain whether the overall accident rate had climbed, thereby reducing the effectiveness of a service that Uber provides.

In each of the four selected cities, Uber service was implemented and later resumed. That history made the comparison of data a little easier, but it did not explain why it helped in some areas yet not in others. In spite of the uneven research results concerning Uber's contribution toward reducing alcohol-related crashes, public safety advocates are supportive of the service, since it provides inebriated drivers another option as opposed to driving under the influence.

Since fatal wrecks are the number one cause of deaths for those between the ages of 13 to 25, any service that can reduce the number of crashes is a welcome tool in the efforts to reduce the number of Americans who are killed or injured every year. In 2015, an estimated 2.4 million people were injured in a crash, and approximately 35,000 were killed. While it is estimated that one-third of them are caused by alcohol, any car accident can result in injuries and significant monetary damages. Pennsylvania residents who have been injured in a crash caused by a drunk or otherwise negligent driver may seek recompense for those damages through the commonwealth's civil court system. 

Source: CBS News, "Uber may help cut drunk-driving crashes, but not everywhere, study says", Alan Mozes, Oct. 5, 2017

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