Since rideshare companies such as Lyft and Uber have arrived in Denver, thousands of residents have taken advantage of their services. Whether it's to get to the airport and avoid having to pay to park, or to avoid the hassles of finding a place to park when attending an event in the downtown area, many Denver area residents find taking a rideshare vehicle to be super convenient.
Many people have also used an Uber or Lyft to get home safely after spending a night out on the town. Some folks plan ahead and take a rideshare vehicle to get to and from their favorite nightspot, while others have ended up hailing a rideshare vehicle after having more drinks than they'd originally intended when they went out. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has even teamed up with Uber to spread the word that taking a rideshare vehicle is the best way to avoid getting a DUI.
Rideshare Effects on DUI
Once rideshare companies began moving into urban areas around 2012, many researchers were curious if DUI rates would possibly start dropping in those areas. For example, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department recently announced that they saw a thirty-two percent drop in DUIs in the first five years Uber and Lyft began operating there.
So are rideshare companies helping to curb DUI rates across the country? The answer is complicated.
University of Pennsylvania Study
A University of Pennsylvania report published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2017 found that there are are several factors that play into whether rideshare companies play a role in a city's number of DUI incidents. People who live in dense, urban areas are more likely to use rideshare companies to get around. Destination cities, like Las Vegas, may have higher numbers of people using rideshare vehicles because of all the tourists who visit. So in other words, you cannot accurately compare the rates of ridesharing companies and drunk driving incidents based on looking at a few big cities.
This report also pointed out that distracted driving by rideshare drivers is almost as serious of a concern as driving while impaired. Uber and Lyft drivers are constantly checking their company's app on their phone to secure rides, navigating themselves in unfamiliar places, and talking to their passengers. According to the team behind the study, “Future research should examine whether such risks obtain for individual rideshare drivers and whether any increase in distracted-driver crashes due to ridesharing is sufficient to wholly offset any reduction in alcohol-involved crashes.”
Denver Rideshare Accident Attorney
Just recently, a Denver area man was killed while he was taking an Uber home after a night at his favorite bar. He had done the right thing by deciding not to drink and drive, only to be killed anyway in a hit-and-run accident. If you or a loved one have been injured while in a rideshare vehicle, contact the team at accidentdenver.com to assist you. They will fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.