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Could ride-hailing services make drunk driving less common?

There are multiple options out there for people who are unable to drive themselves home because they have been drinking. A couple of the more common ones are to take a taxi home or to have a designated driver with you to bring you home. In recent times, an additional option has arisen in some areas. This option is to use a ride-hailing service, like Uber, Sidecar or Lyft, to get a ride home.

As these ride-hailing services are becoming more common, a worthwhile question to ask is: does the availability of such services make individuals less likely to drink and drive?

Recently, a study was conducted looking into this issue. The study was the result of a joint effort by Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Uber.

The study involved a survey of 807 adults. The survey respondents came from 19 different cities. All of these cities were ones in which Uber operates.

Of the survey respondents who were at or above the age of 21 and who used ride-hailing apps, over half said that, if ride-hailing options weren’t present, they might have a higher likelihood of getting behind the wheel after having drinks at a restaurant or bar.

A vast majority of all the survey’s respondents, around 4 out of every 5, indicated that the existence of ride-hailing apps made it so their friends weren’t as likely, after drinking, to try to get home by driving themselves.

Thus, the survey’s results indicate that ride-hailing options being available to individuals may perhaps have benefits when it comes to reducing drunk driving.

What do you think of the results of the survey? What are your opinions on ride-hailing services? Do you think such services being widely available could make drunk driving less likely? Do you think such services being available in an area make an area’s roads safer or less safe? Would you like to see such services more widely available?

Source: USA Today, “Uber makes anti-drunk-driving pitch for Super Bowl,” Marco della Cava, Feb. 1, 2015

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