Ride-sharing services, like Uber and Lyft, are growing in popularity in Nevada and nationwide. Not only are they convenient for those who don’t own a car or don’t wish to drive, but it is hoped that they will cut down on distracted driving and drunk driving. However, has the rise in ride-sharing services really made our roads safer?
One recent study suggests that these services have not cut down on the number of accidents. The number of deadly motor vehicle accidents had been declining in the U.S. since the 1980s. In fact, 2010 saw the lowest number of traffic fatalities since the 1940s, with that number sitting at approximately 33,000.
However, in 2014, when ride-sharing services began to make an appearance in many cities across the nation, the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents started to rise again. The study ultimately found that the arrival of ride-sharing coincided with a 2 to 3 percent increase in deaths in motor vehicle collisions and auto-pedestrian crashes from 2011 to 2016, especially in large cities and cities with a low per capita income. Researchers suggest that as more people use ride-sharing services rather than buses and subways, more vehicles are on the road, leading to more deadly crashes.
However, some experts believe that the study overlooks some important issues. For example, gas prices have dropped, leading to an increase in driving by all motorists, not just those offering ride-sharing services. Moreover, one expert pointed out that rural areas saw a greater number of motor vehicle accidents than the cities examined by the ride-sharing study, even though rural areas generally do not have many ride-sharing services.
While correlation does not equal causation, the fact remains that at least some fatal motor vehicle accidents involve ride-sharing vehicles. No one is immune from car accidents. When these crashes are caused by the negligence of another, accident victims may want to determine whether they can pursue a personal injury claim against the driver responsible.