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Are Rideshare Services Like Uber Causing More Traffic Deaths?

Categories:Auto Accidents

Uber and Lyft Linked to Rising Traffic Fatalities

In the last several years, we’ve witnessed the rise of an industry disruptor. Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have changed the transportation industry forever. As long as you have a smart phone, affordable transportation is almost always just a few minutes away.

In some ways, Uber and Lyft have made our streets safer. It’s much easier now for people who have had a few drinks to leave their car behind and opt for rideshare transportation. Instead of making a long, potentially dangerous walk home alone at night, people can hail an Uber. According to some initial studies, however, it hasn’t been a safety increase across the board.

 

Uber and Lyft Linked to Rising Traffic Fatalities

There is a cost to everything, and that includes convenience. As ridesharing has become a part of our society, the demand for transportation has also increased. While you might be tempted to believe Uber and Lyft have reduced the number of cars on the road, the opposite is true. In cities where these services have an active role, there are more cars than ever on the road. More cars on the road translates to more crashes, more injuries and even more deaths.

Recently, researchers from the University of Chicago and Rice University published a joint study that examined the link between Uber and Lyft and rising traffic deaths across our country. According to the study:

  • Since their introduction, rideshare platforms have been linked to a 2-3% increase in traffic fatalities across the country

In 2010, the amount of traffic fatalities hit record lows of less than 33,000 deaths in a year. Since 2010, as rideshare services have exploded in popularity and more cars are on the road than ever, we’ve seen large jumps in traffic deaths.

  • From 2016-2018, the amount of roadway deaths each year was more than 40,000

 

What Is Causing the Traffic Fatality Increase?

There are a number of potential factors in the uptick in traffic collisions and deaths. It would be easy to look at the numbers and conclude that Uber or Lyft drivers are the main cause, but that’s not the whole story. The study didn’t find that Uber drivers are much more likely to get into an accident than the average driver.

The reality is, Uber and Lyft are putting more cars on the road and those cars are often driving much more than the average driver. It makes sense that having more cars on the road would also increase the amount of accidents that are happening.

Additionally, we’ve witnessed the explosion in smart phone adoption over the last decade. If you’ve been on the road recently, you’ve seen how shockingly high the number of distracted drivers is. People can’t pull their eyes away from their screen, even when it puts their lives in dangers. For rideshare drivers, the problem may be even worse. Using a phone while on the road is a part of their job. Anything that takes your eyes away from the road will also increase your chances of getting into an accident. Rideshare drivers can’t do their job without also using their phone on the road.

There’s no easy answer and we have to draw our own conclusions at times, but the facts are in. There is a well-researched link to rideshare services like Uber and Lyft and the increase in traffic fatalities we’ve witnessed in recent years.

 

Contact Brooks Law Group

Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident involving a rideshare vehicle? Whether you were the passenger in an Uber or another driver hit by an Uber driver, you deserve compensation for your injuries. At the Brooks Law Group, our experienced Uber accident attorneys are dedicated to providing you with the best client experience possible throughout the legal process. We know how overwhelming and confusing the legal process can be, and that’s why we go above and beyond to make it as quick and easy as possible.

For your free case evaluation, call our offices at (800) LAW-3030 or fill out the online case evaluation form located on the left of your screen. Don’t wait, start your journey to justice today!

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