Ride-hailing services have become increasingly common in American towns and cities in recent years. While Uber and Lyft have been credited with keeping impaired drivers off the road, the increased presence of ride-hailing drivers means more cars are on the road and the risks of traffic-related deaths have increased as a result. Although their presence has helped many commuters, research suggests Uber and Lyft directly add to congestion and traffic accidents.
The arrival of ride-sharing is associated with an increase of approximately 3% in the number of motor vehicle fatalities and fatal accidents, according to research from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
The researchers used the staggered roll-out dates from Uber and Lyft to review the eight quarters before and after ride-hailing adoption in large U.S. cities from 2001 to 2016—analyzing traffic volume, transportation choices and accidents.
The documented increase in accidents appears to persist and has increased over time, and that rate has stayed steady through weekdays, weeknights, and weekends, according to a recent working paper authored by John Barrios, assistant professor at Chicago Booth; and Yale V. Hochberg and Hanyi Yi of Rice University.
The increase in fatal traffic accidents connected to rideshare services correlated to a “quantity effect.” The quantity effect means that the more cars there are on the street, the more reasonable it is that accidents will increase. The availability of on-demand, ride-hailing transit has reduced pedestrian traffic, carpooling, and the use of multi-passenger public transportation. For every person that wouldn’t have been in a car previously, there are now that many more vehicles on the street to transport them.
It concluded that ridesharing increases traffic deaths by 987 fatalities a year — a rise of 3% and the yearly cost ranges from $5.33 billion to $13.24 billion per year.
Rideshare services provide convenience and quick access to transportation. This has been especially valuable in reducing the number of drunk drivers on the roads, and rideshare companies should be credited for that benefit. But, other undeniable and deadly risks are associated with the increased vehicle traffic that these services create. The risks of auto accident deaths affect more than rideshare passengers and drivers. Deadly rideshare accidents also victimize other vehicle drivers and passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
Yes. The rules of the road are the same for an Uber driver, a Lyft driver, or a taxi driver. Rideshare drivers have the same duty of care to their passengers as any other driver.
If you were in a crash while in an Uber or Lyft, always take note of:
To learn more about rideshare crashes and your rights, contact an experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney today. And if you were involved in a car crash, whether with a ride-sharing service or not, contact our experienced car crash attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. today. You can contact us via phone: 570-346-2600.
Peter Paul Olszewski, Jr., a shareholder and managing partner at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C., brings 37 years of litigation experience. He is a renowned trial lawyer in Pennsylvania, specializing in medical malpractice, personal injury, and criminal defense. Peter's notable achievements include securing multi-million-dollar verdicts and serving as District Attorney and Judge. He is committed to community involvement and is actively engaged in various legal associations.
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