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Does Uber Curb Drunk Driving?

88675-fullRecently Uber has popped up all around the world. Some markets have been very inviting while others fight Uber tooth and nail. Places such as San Antonio fight Uber because they do not want Uber to take away from the long established Yellow Cabs. In fact, many cab drivers have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars or even a million (New York City) for the price of a medallion that gives them the right to operate a cab in the city.uber-germany_injunctionImagine how upset you would be if you spent a million dollars on a medallion and a few months later a 20 something year old applied for Uber and was quickly allowed to drive strangers around the city. I would be upset. However, I am Pro-Uber because I feel the benefits (cheap fares and safer driving) outweighs the cost (less cab business).

Uber is a transportation company that was founded in 2009 and now operates in counties all around the world. It has hurt the traditional cab business because regular people looking to make some extra money drive people from place to place at a fraction of the cost. I have used Uber many times and love the convenience of pulling out my smartphone, clicking the app and having an Uber driver pull up to my house a few minutes later. I live in suburbia and love that Uber drivers are at my fingertips. I also love that Uber charges you directly from a credit card you have on file and they do not accept tips (or they aren’t supposed to).uber-logoThe City of Houston has been fighting Uber ever since they encroached on the city. They are trying to protect the cab business and are duking it out in court.

My blog post today is focused around one thing….drinking and driving. Does Uber lessen the number of drinking and driving crashes and fatalities?

According to madd.org, recently MADD and Uber worked together to produce the report: “More Options. Shifting Mindsets. Driving Better Choices”. Among the findings: In California, drunk-driving crashes fell 6.5% among drivers under 30 in the markets where Uber operates following the launch of uberX in the state. That represents potentially 60 fewer drunk driving crashes each month — a total of 1,800 crashes avoided — since July 2012. California is Uber’s home state and longest-running market and demonstrates for a possible similar reduction in other Uber markets.uber_DUI_Blog-06The report also includes a survey of attitudes about ridesharing services and their role in combating drunk driving. Nearly 4 in 5 (78%) respondents said friends are less likely to drive home after drinking since ridesharing services like Uber started operating in their city. A remarkable 93% of people would recommend Uber as a safer way home to a friend who had been drinking.

I will say that my friends and I use Uber all of the time. We mainly use Uber when we know that we are going to have more than one or two drinks and want to be safe. We know that the fairs are low (often the cost of one or two drinks) and the service is convenient. Killing someone or getting a DWI is not worth it….ever. When the only option was taking a cab, I feel that many people did not utilize the service because it was so expensive. Uber has allowed competition in the marketplace and consequently driven the price down of hiring a car service. In essence it has allowed the average Joe the ability to hire a driver.uber-safe-hed-2015I urge all residents to support Uber because ultimately you are helping support a business that lessens drunk driving.

If you have never used Uber, I suggest you give it a try, it is very easy and user friendly. Download the app, include a credit card number and plan an excuse to use Uber (date night, girls night, etc).

My question for you, who is ready to Uber?

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