A Few Great Reasons to Uber On
2 out of 3 will be involved in a drunk driving accident. Every 120 seconds someone will be injured in a drunk driving crash. Think these statistics from MADD are scary? Visit MADD.org for a full dose of scary stats.
The Drunk Driving Problem
Drunk driving, and driving under the influence of drugs, are problems that just won’t go away. Unfortunately, we live in a society where in many locations people drive somewhere, enjoy time out with their friends, and then struggle with how to get their car home. Or, maybe they underestimate how much they’ve had to drink. Or, they buy into one of the many urban myths out there about alcohol and impairment.
Common misperceptions include the idea that a person can drink more glasses of beer and be ok to drive than if they drink liquor. Guess what? Not true. One glass of beer = one glass of liquor = one glass of wine. And, actually, not all beer or liquor is equal. Some have a higher alcohol content than others. What matters isn’t what type of alcohol is consumed, but how much alcohol is consumed.
Others think if they drink coffee after dinner they will be fine to drive. Guess what? Not true. Coffee does truly nothing to suppress the effects of alcohol or drugs.
States regularly trip up folks with questions on the DMV written exam on these very common misconceptions. Think you know it all? Read your state’s DMV manual and see if you do. Or visit a website like DMV CheatSheets.com and take some of the free sample tests.
Most folks believe at least one alcohol-related myth. And many folks have no idea how high their alcohol level is when they go to drive. Maybe they check to see if they can touch their nose or say a mini prayer, but those two things aren’t effective either. Portable breathalyzers can now be purchased for as low as $10. And, if, in doubt, a person should either use a portable breathalyzer or use a designated driver.
Uber and Lyft: Making a Difference
One thing that is reportedly helping to decrease alcohol-related drunk driving accidents is the addition of services such as Uber and Lyft. Uber has been doing a lot to promote this fact, and they are taking a lot of slack for it.
But, if they are making a significant impact and curbing needless deaths, should they be attacked? Or, does it make more sense for the general public to start calling for and supporting legislation that makes these ride services more abundant. There is no reason to give taxi services a monopoly. Greater competition helps the common good.
Critics of Uber claim they don’t meet all transportation safety rules, often are in violation of the taxi commission regulations, and there are allegations that they do not provide adequate data protections. Mike Isaac provides a thorough review of Uber’s woes in his article Hard-Charging Uber Tries Olive Branch.
Marco della Cava from USA Today provides the positive side of Uber in his article Uber makes anti-drunk driving pitch for Super Bowl. Studies show that folks are less likely to drive themselves home in towns with Uber. It seems services like Uber just make it easier for folks to get home than the standard taxi services do. Cities where Uber launches see a decrease in DUI charges. Read more about the 2015 Uber and MADD study results in Maya Kosoff’s article for Business Insider
In his article Uber Claims Credit for Drop in Drunk Driving Accidents. But Where’s the Evidence? Ryann Jones questions the data being used by Uber and shows that at best, the data shows a correlation between a drop in drunk driving and ride-sharing services.
Politicians and businessmen are, of course, largely behind the hoopla and criticism surrounding ride-sharing services. Traditional taxi services are scared of their newest competitor but claim they are pushing for licenses for these services for “the safety of the people.” Republicans seem to be considering entering the fray to try and win the young votes that the Democrats currently hold. It’s America. Ryan Glass provides a detailed account of some of these behind the scenes issues on ride sharing in his article Uber Republicans
Do Something Good: Uber More
Haters can hate, but there’s really no reason to hate a service with potentially great outcomes. Yes, of course, Uber is partially promoting better drunk driving stats as a PR ploy (er, strategy). That’s annoying, but that’s life in a capitalist society.
At the end of the day, business motives don’t change the fact that the roads are safer thanks to services like Uber and Lyft. Drunk driving remains a serious issue. More options lead to people making safer decisions. More competition leads to lower prices, which also allows people to make safer decisions. And, cry as they may, taxi commissions have yet to provide any evidence that these ride-sharing services are bad. All in all, it’s a GOOD thing people. Uber on.