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Ride-Sharing Services Could Cut Alcohol-Related Crashes

FRIDAY, Oct. 13, 2017 -- Ride-sharing services may reduce the rate of motor vehicle crashes, particularly alcohol-involved crashes, in some cities, according to a study published online Oct. 4 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Christopher N. Morrison, Ph.D., from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted interrupted time-series analyses using weekly counts of injury crashes and the proportion that were alcohol-involved in four U.S. cities (Las Vegas; Reno, Nevada; Portland, Oregon; and San Antonio). Cities were selected where Uber launched, ceased, and then resumed operations between 2013 and 2016, based on the assumption that resumption after a temporary break would produce a more substantial change in ridership than an initial launch.

The researchers found that the results partially supported the hypothesis that Uber's resumption would be associated with fewer alcohol-involved crashes. After Uber's resumption in Portland, there was a 61.8 percent reduction in the alcohol-involved crash rate, although there was no concomitant change in all injury crashes.

"Relationships between ride-sharing and motor vehicle crashes differ between cities over time and may depend on specific local characteristics," conclude the authors.

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Posted: October 2017