Ride Sharing Uber, and Lyft Increase Accidents and Deaths

Ride sharing companies contributed to more traffic deaths according to a study by Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State University of Chicago Booth School of Business. The arrival of ridesharing is associated with an increase of 2-3% in the number of motor vehicle fatalities and fatal accidents.

Other claim the increase in deaths is due to smartphones and marijuana use.

Tride-hailing drivers spend 40 percent to 60 percent of their time searching for passengers. In New York City, drivers traveled an average 2.8 miles between fares, according to the study.

The study noted that, rideshare companies often subsidize drivers to stay on the road even when utilization is low, to ensure that supply is quickly available.

The authors examine the effect of the introduction of ridesharing services in U.S. cities on fatal traffic accidents. The arrival of ridesharing is associated with an increase of 2-3% in the number of motor vehicle fatalities and fatal accidents. This increase is not only for vehicle occupants, but also for pedestrians.

The authors proposed a simple conceptual model to explain the effects of ridesharing’s introduction on accident rates. Consistent with the notion that ridesharing increases congestion and road utilization, the study finds that the introduction of ridesharing is associated with an increase in arterial vehicle miles traveled, excess gas consumption, and annual hours of delay in traffic.

On the extensive margin, ridesharing arrival is also associated with an increase in new car registrations. These effects are higher in cities with higher ex-ante use of public transportation and carpools, consistent with a substitution effect, and in larger cities and cities with high ex-ante vehicle ownership. The increase in accidents appears to persist (and even increase) over time. Back-of-the-envelope estimates of the annual cost in human lives range from $5.33 billion to $13.24 billion per year.

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