Poll: Ride-Sharing Services Are Cutting Down On Drunk-Driving Incidents

Times used to be, if your friend was drunk and threatening to drive, you’d have to deal with the inconvenience of actually calling up a cab while hiding their keys. But now due to ride-sharing services that can summon vehicles with a swipe on an app, drunk-driving incidents are down. This, according to a poll by one of those services, Uber, along with Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

David Plouffe, formerly President Obama’s campaign manager and now working as Uber’s strategy chief, said such services are helping to reduce drunk-driving incidents, reports USA Today.

Almost four in five respondents of the poll said friends were less likely to drive themselves home after drinking because of ride-sharing apps. And 57% of transportation app users 21 and older said they’d “probably end up driving more after drinking at a bar or restaurant” if ride-sharing options didn’t exist.

The survey polled 807 adults in 19 cities where Uber operates.

“This study shows people are changing their behavior, particularly when they’re out having drinks,” Plouffe said.

While others might attribute the drop in incidents in places like California, where Uber points out that drunken-driving crashes have decreased by 6.5% among drivers under 30 since Uber began offering its UberX service in the state in 2012, to other factors besides just ride-sharing, Plouffe says the survey suggests the change can be linked to having ride-sharing in cities where public transit and cabs aren’t so easily available late at night.

“(Uber is launching) in small cities now, and these are places where (at night) maybe you either had a designated driver or you drove,” he says. “This study shows people are changing their behavior, particularly when they’re out having drinks.”

MADD’s president says it doesn’t matter how the word gets out about alternatives to driving drunk, just so long as it gets out.

“Safe rides are always within reach now,” says Colleen Sheehey-Church. “We’re aiming for a future with no more victims.”

Uber’s Plouffe pushes service as drunk driving solution [USA Today]