Rideshare saves lives!

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found a significant reduction in traffic-related trauma cases and drunk driving conviction rates after Uber was introduced in the city of Houston. The study, “Association of Rideshare Use With Alcohol-Associated Motor Vehicle Crash Trauma,” noted the most dramatic decreases in trauma cases were among men and women under 30 years old.
The study confirms what MADD has believed for years – that rideshare apps offer a convenient transportation option that helps reduce the risk of drunk driving crashes, especially among younger drivers. The more options that are available, the easier it is to make the right choice to never drive impaired.
The study, by McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston, reviewed trauma cases at two major trauma centers in Houston – the Red Duke Trauma Institute at Memorial Hermann and Harris Health Ben Taub General Hospital – between January 2007 and November 2019. Researchers also reviewed impaired driving convictions in Harris County, which covers the Houston area, from January 2007 to December 2018. They then compared trauma hospitalization rates and drunk driving conviction rates from 2007 through 2013, before Uber was introduced in Houston, with drunk driving conviction rates and trauma hospitalizations beginning in January 2014.
Among the findings:

  • The number of motor vehicle crash traumas decreased 38.9%, from 866 patients in 2013 to 529 in 2018 in the under-30 age group, while other age groups stayed the same.
  • Prior to January 2014, impaired driving convictions were predominantly from arrests within Houston’s core (inside the Interstate 610 loop), but as the volume of Uber trips inside Houston’s core increased, the rates shifted to outside Houston’s core.
  • Impaired driving convictions trended downward annually beginning in February 2014.
  • The number of impaired driving convictions for offenses on Friday and Saturday nights dropped significantly after January 2014.

No excuses – it’s easier than ever to find a safe ride home if your outing includes alcohol. Call Uber or Lyft, take public transportation, or designate a non-drinking driver.

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