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uber taxi
28 October 2015

Research Suggests Uber May Be Reducing Drunk Driving Accidents & Arrests


The popular smartphone app Uber initially launched in 2009 as an innovative solution to the age-old problem of finding a cab.  Uber has had great success ever since.

Uber allows users to instantly request a ride via taxi, SUV or luxury car by simply pressing a button. In recent years, the app has become an increasingly popular method of finding transportation for many people.

In addition to being recognized as an innovative solution to finding a cab, recent studies show that Uber may also be reducing intoxicated driving throughout America.

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Research Links Uber App To Reduction In Intoxicated Driving

In 2014, Uber decided to take a look at the correlation between the availability of Uber in Seattle and its effect on drunk driving in that city.

By using publicly available data on drunk driving arrests, researchers found that there was a 10% reduction in drunk driving arrests in Seattle after Uber launched in that city.

Since then, many other studies have found relationships between the availability of Uber as an alternative method of transportation and people’s decisions to use Uber after consuming alcohol.

Are People Choosing Uber As An Alternative To Driving While Intoxicated?

One study conducted by Uber and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) examined data from major metropolitan cities around the country to determine the impact, if any, that Uber has had on drunk driving.

More specifically, researchers looked at different data sets in an effort to draw conclusions about the use of Uber as an alternative method of transportation after consuming alcohol.

When examining data from Miami, researchers found that requests for Uber rides peaked at around the same time that drunk driving accidents are known to most commonly occur in Miami.

Other data showed that requests for Uber rides peaks at approximately 2:00 a.m. in the city of Pittsburgh, which happens to be the exact time that all bars close in that city.

Furthermore, the study showed that a disproportionately large number of Uber users in Chicago requested an Uber ride within 50 meters of a drinking establishment during peak drinking hours.

What The People Are Saying

The study conducted by Uber and MADD also included data gathered from a survey of more than 807 respondents who answered questions about the use of Uber and its impact on drunk driving.

Survey results showed that 88% of respondents over the age of 21 agreed that Uber has made it easier to avoid driving home after having too much to drink.

Additionally, 78% of respondents said that their friends are less likely to drive drunk after Uber launched in their city.

Reducing DUI Accidents

Another study conducted by researchers from Temple University in Philadelphia examined data from the California Highway Patrol to investigate potential relationships between the prevalence of Uber in certain cities throughout California and the amount of DUI accidents in those cities.

The researchers found that there was a strong correlation between the emergence of Uber in major cities and a reduction in DUI accidents in those cities.

Uber: A Safe Alternative To Drunk Driving

A study conducted by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) found that the availability of alternative transportation is one of the main factors considered by individuals when deciding whether or not to drive after consuming alcohol.

Research is now showing that Uber may be a solution to this problem as it seems that many people are deciding to use Uber as a safe method of transportation after consuming alcohol.