In what is a rare occasion Uber finds itself getting good press. It's been rough times for the company after getting caught in the middle of horrible cases involving drivers, such as one Toronto Uber driver telling a passenger to "suck his d***" before hitting her. Today it pulls out a victory in knowing its helped decrease the number of DUIs (driving under the influence), which would also mean it's potentially saved lives along the way. This is according to data which says Uber's decreased DUIs by 10 percent in Seattle.
Today's teens have been found to be drinking and driving less nationally, so one can safely assume Uber has had an effect outside of Seattle as well. According to a survey published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report out of teens ages 16 to 20 only 6.6 percent reported drinking and driving in 2014. That's more than a 50 percent decrease compared to the 16.2 percent of teens who said they did drink and drive in 2002. Either they're really not getting trashed and taking the wheel, perhaps instead calling an Uber, or they're just better at lying about it now. Let's hope it's the former.
Citing a Temple University paper that showed drinkers would rather call a car service rather than drive ABC DUI School began to investigate Uber’s influence on DUI rates in Seattle.
Using publicly available drunk driving data (and non-alcoholic DUI data) from arrest data of Seattle police departments. Findings show Uber decreased -.7 DUIs daily with a 10 percent decrease in total as the chart below illustrates. This gives way to what they call the "Uber effect."
"As a first step, we estimated a simple regression discontinuity that tested whether the incidence of DUI changed in Seattle before and after Uber entered, controlling for a time trend, day of the week effects, and the legalization of marijuana (which seems to have caused a spike in DUI)" wrote ABC.
To confirm it was Uber that had created the DUI decrease they studied and compared it to Uber's effects on San Francisco's DUI percentage. The "Uber effect" was still present.
It might be increasingly difficult to trust Uber because of all the incidents that have been happening, but it's still not recommended to drive under the influence. Maybe give Lyft a chance?