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Has Uber decreased drunk driving incidents?

The numbers don’t lie: The rise of Uber and other ride-sharing services is saving lives. Report after report is showing that this is true. We have compiled some of the research results right here for you:

According to a recent Entrepreneur article, Temple University researchers found that Uber’s entry into California markets reduced DUI deaths between 2009 and 2014. On average, the number of alcohol-related driving deaths decreased by between 3.6 and 5.6 percent in California areas that utilized the Uber X service. This means that we could save 500 lives and $1.3 billion each year by implementing Uber X nationwide.

Girl waiting for Taxi

Uber itself has estimated that the number of DUI arrests in Seattle, Washington, decreased by more than 10 percent with the introduction of its services to the city. In their own words, “The availability and affordability of rides on the Uber network provide the residents of Uber-enabled cities with an important alternative to drunk driving.”

As MADD and Uber have together reported, Uber ridership in Miami and Pittsburgh is peaking when bars close and at the hour when drunk driving has historically been at its peak. In Chicago, 75 percent of Ubers on New Year’s Eve were hailed from within 1/8 mile of places serving liquor. This means that drivers who used to drive after a night of drinking are increasingly getting a ride from services such as Uber.

Researchers will continue to keep tabs on this new trend and its effects on DUI arrests and deaths. For now, however, these are positive enough results to suggest that Uber and other ride-sharing services actually reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road.

We at The Farrish Law Firm, L.P.A. in Cincinnati, Ohio, encourage Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky drivers to get a ride via Uber, Lyft, a taxi, or simply calling a sober and responsible friend. It is your best precaution against a DUI and an accident.

How does Uber work?

Uber is what is called a rideshare company, and it is one of the most widely used ones at that. Rideshare companies offer a more convenient way to hail a ride when you need one—much more convenient than the traditional method of hailing a taxicab. To get started, all you have to do is create an account on their website.

When you sign up, you will enter your payment information once—and you will never have to provide payment information again. The app will use your phone’s GPS to detect your location and connect you with the nearest available driver. You can choose between different ride options, like low-cost, taxi, SUV, and luxury Ubers.

Enter your pickup and drop-off locations for an estimate of your fare if you would like to know beforehand. Choose your driver. You will wait just a few minutes to be picked up and receive a text when your ride arrives. Your Uber driver will take you to your location and your card will automatically be charged. You don’t have to worry about having cash. You don’t have to worry about tipping. And you will be emailed a receipt. If you wish to split your fare with a friend or companion, you will have the option to do so within the app.

It’s that simple. If you haven’t used this service already, we suggest you join the people of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. You will most likely find that it makes getting around much easier and safer in times when driving is unsafe and inconvenient.

Avoid Surge Pricing

One of the controversial aspects of Uber is their employment of surge pricing. This means that they raise their rates in times of greater demand. Researchers have found that oftentimes these higher rates can be avoided by simply waiting for as little as five minutes for the “surge” to pass and for rates to return to normal. You may also be able to avoid the steeper fares by moving to a different location—maybe just by a few hundred feet.

Alternatives to Uber

If you don’t want to go with Uber, you can hail a taxicab with an app called Open Cab, which allows you to connect with a driver and have the fare automatically charged to your card, similar to the Uber service. Or if you are already downtown in an area that is well populated with taxi cab drivers and you prefer to hail a taxi the old-fashioned way, you can do that as well.

We don’t care how you get a ride; the important thing is that you do.

If you have been drinking alcohol—no matter how much or how little or how well you think you can drive—whatever you do, do not get behind the wheel. It is not worth the risk you would be taking. Your life and the lives of others are more important. So protect those lives and take a ride home the next time you go out.

If you were caught drinking and driving and are facing DUI charges, contact the DUI defense attorneys at The Farrish Law Firm, L.P.A. in Cincinnati, Ohio. Or click here to read more about DUI defense and the penalties you may be facing.

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