A recent study shows that ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft could potentially save thousands of lives every year. Ride-sharing services have had difficulty in obtaining access to some new markets, and they have countered by claiming that they create jobs and provide competition that helps consumers. With the release of this new study, these companies will also be able to assert that their services actually help reduce deaths and serious personal injuries.

The study, which was conducted by researchers at Temple University, studied vehicle accidents in the state of California between 2009 and 2014. The study revealed that the entry of Uber into markets throughout the state correlated with a drop in drunken-driving deaths, up to 5.6 percent.

Researchers concluded that UberX, the company’s least expensive service, significantly reduced the number of alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths throughout the state. The greatest impact occurred in larger cities. However, no link was found with Uber Black, which is the company’s most expensive service and consists typically of black SUVs or luxury sedans and are registered as commercial vehicles.

The entrance of UberX into a market was found to result in a 3.6 percent to 5.6 percent decrease in the rate of deaths due to motor-vehicle collisions involving alcohol. Over 1,000 deaths occur every year in California due to alcohol-related car crashes.

The results of this study correspond with data collected by Uber and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Uber and MADD previously studied Uber’s impact in several major cities. Their report found that once Uber entered a market, drunk driving was reduced. The report found that in Miami, Uber ridership peaks at the same time as drunken-driving crashes typically occur. In Seattle, once Uber entered the market, there was a 10 percent decrease in DUI arrests. In Pittsburgh, the demand for Uber spikes around the times that bars close.

The report also said that with traditional taxi services, the supply decreases when people most want rides and when DUI arrests are most common, which can lead to drunk driving. Taxi industry associations say that their services have helped to not only reduce drunk driving, but also adhere to important safety procedures that Uber drivers do not, such as undergoing rigorous background checks and carrying commercial insurance.

Although UberX can be controversial, the data shows that it’s helping to save lives. On average, over 10,000 people are killed every year in automobile collisions involving a drunk driver. Even more people are injured in crashes involving a drunk driver. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes on society is over $59 billion.

Drunk drivers pose a major problem in the United States, ruining families and lives. Their victims and the victims’ families often never fully recover. They may face astronomical expenses for a lifetime of medical care and may be unable to work. The emotional scars after a drunk driving crash can last for years.

If you have been injured by a drunk driver, it’s important that you protect your legal rights. You should speak to an attorney shortly after the incident to ensure that your rights are protected. At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that drunk drivers should be severely punished, both in criminal court as well as civil court. If you’ve been involved in an automobile collision involving a drunk driver, call San Francisco personal injury attorney Micha Star Liberty at 415-896-1000 or 510-645-1000. She works with clients throughout the Bay area, including Oakland, Hayward, Tracy, Fairfield, Berkeley, San Jose, and the surrounding areas. Call today to schedule a free consultation.

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