Most people have viewed the proliferation of ride-sharing services such as Lyft and Uber as a good thing. From taking impaired drivers offer the road to giving transportation access to people who may not be able to afford their own vehicle, ride-sharing services have been a generally positive addition to the daily lives of most people. While all of that is true, there are also some pretty serious downsides to services like Lyft and Uber.
New research from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business found that roughly 3% of fatal accidents involving motor vehicles were associated with a ride-sharing service. The data shows that accidents are continuing to increase over time, regardless of when the ride takes place.
To come to these conclusions researchers took the roll-out dates of Lyft and Uber to review the eight quarters before and after those services launched in major U.S. cities. They looked at traffic volume, methods of transportation and accidents when coming to their conclusion.
So, why is ride-sharing so dangerous? It’s due to a lot of things. ride-sharing services have put a lot more cars on the road. The more cars on the road, the more likely an accident is to occur. That’s why most of the new accidents take place in urban areas, where the populations are higher and as such there are more accidents of all kinds.
It makes sense, most of these companies incentivize their drivers to stay on the road even if they aren’t in the middle of an active fair. That means there are more cars on the road giving rides, and more cars on the road waiting for the opportunity to give a ride. At the end of the day that causes a lot more traffic.
Ride-sharing companies are undeniably useful, but they aren’t without their downsides. More traffic, and more fatalities is a problem that has to be addressed if the ride-sharing industry is going to continue to grow in the United States.