Are Ride Sharing Services Cutting Down On Drunk Driving?
Evidence suggests a dip in DUI arrests in some urban areas could be attributed to companies like Uber
Possibly. Philadelphia and Seattle have both seen drunk driving arrests decrease since services like Uber started operations. Data from Philadelphia's Uniform Crime Reporting system shows DUI arrests dropped 11 percent during the months when Uber, UberX and Side Car began operating in the city, according NBC Philadelphia. Seattle saw a drop of around ten percent.
While correlation does not equal causation, Philadelphia did see the most significant reduction in DUI arrest for the people most likely to use the app: Millennials, who experienced an 18.5 percent drop in DUI arrests. Many Americans admit to knowing drunk driving is dangerous, yet 37 percent of those surveyed in a recent Harris Poll said they've driven when they knew they probably had too much. Ride sharing offers an easy and cheap alternative to gambling with other drivers' lives or hoping a designated driver will resist temptation.
Uber founder Taylor Bennett told the news station the reduction in drunk driving is a welcome, though unintended side effect of the business.
"Uber started really just to connect riders and drivers. A byproduct of that, as we've seen, are these incredible social and economic impacts that we're seeing in different cities," he told NBC Philadelphia.
Unintended or not, the company seems to be embracing the correlation. The ride sharing company partnered with Mother's Against Drunk Driving earlier this month and will donate $1 to MADD for every trip taken through Uber.
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