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Uber may not make a difference in drunk driving

As ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have made their way to Louisiana, many have assumed that these services will help reduce the number of drunk drivers on the roads. Whether or not this is true depends on which study a person discusses.

As the New York Times reports, studies have not come to a consensus on ride-sharing's effectiveness against drunk driving. After a glowing study commissioned by Uber was released in 2015, several independent researchers have been investigating Uber and Lyft's effects on communities across the country. Researchers out of Tempel University found a drop in California's motor vehicle homicides after the introduction of Uber in 2010. A study of four of New York City's boroughs found that since ride-sharing was introduced in the city in 2011, there were about 40 fewer accidents each month committed by drivers under the age of 30. Researchers from West Carolina University recently found that as Uber began services in different parts of the country traffic fatalities fell.

However, a study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology did not reach similar conclusions. In fact, the researchers warn against any study making direct connections between ride-sharing and the rates of drunk driving. According to Fortune, a large-scale study of 100 large American metro areas found no correlation between the introduction of a ride-sharing app and reductions in alcohol-related traffic deaths. Researchers believe the consistent numbers could mean that people who previously took taxis after drinking may have simply switched to a lower-priced service. They also stated that certain areas may not yet have a large enough supply of drivers to meet the need of everyone who would drive drunk.

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