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Did ride-sharing apps reduce the number of deadly crashes?

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2023 | Car Accidents |

Rideshare services have vehicles available for hire all over Florida. As a popular tourist destination, Florida has above-average demand for such services. Thousands of people make money as part-time or full-time rideshare drivers. They use their personal vehicles like taxis and earn money for each ride they provide.

The companies that run rideshare apps have long claimed that their presence in most major markets will make the roads a safer place. Specifically, they assert that consumers will use them to get home when they have had too much to drink and that those who are unfamiliar with areas will hire affordable rideshare services instead of driving in areas where they are distracted by the need to navigate. Now that there have been rideshare vehicles on the road for many years, there is potentially enough data to evaluate those claims. Is it true that rideshare services reduce the number of fatal collisions?

Statistics seem to show an uptick in traffic deaths

The idea of fewer distracted, lost and drunk drivers on the road does seem to indicate that crash rates would drop, but it seems that the opposite is what actually happened. Despite the claims made by rideshare companies, researchers at the University of Chicago looking over crash data found the exact opposite results.

Specifically, the conclusion of the analysis of collision data was that rideshare services have actually contributed to a 3% increase in traffic fatalities. There are a couple of reasons that more rideshare vehicles actually led to more fatal crashes including an uptick in aggressive driving habits. Rideshare drivers often have other jobs, which may mean they drive while exhausted, which is dangerous.

Although each individual who chooses to hire a rideshare vehicle instead of driving drunk reduces the chances of a major crash, the large number of rideshare vehicles on the road and the way their drivers behave in traffic has led to a net reduction in traffic safety across the United States, including in metropolitan areas across Florida.