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Drunk driving fatalities fall with rise of Uber

Oklahoma motorists may be interested to learn about a new study that demonstrates a correlation between Uber's entrance into a city's market and a drop in DUI fatality rates. A similar drop has not been demonstrated with private taxi companies.

Researchers at the Fox School of Business at Temple University reviewed California statistical data covering the period from 2009 to 2014. They looked at information from cities that both offered Uber as well as those that didn't. In some cases, private taxi companies successfully lobbied to keep Uber out. In the cities that did allow Uber to enter the marketplace, DUI fatality rates dropped from between 3.6 and 5.6 percent.

The researchers theorized that private taxi companies don't show a similar rate reduction because of taking longer times to pick people up. They believe that people get tired of waiting and then simply get behind the wheel of their vehicles. The reduction in drunk driving fatalities was demonstrated specifically with the Uber X service, which is the company's more economical offering. A similar drop was not seen with the availability of the luxury Uber services. Thus, it is likely that more intoxicated people take Uber due to its affordability, quick pick-up times and availability of vehicles. The researchers recommended that bar owners enter into agreements with Uber to provide intoxicated patrons rides home.

Drunk driving is a huge problem, and anything that can help prevent fatal motor vehicle accidents caused by intoxicated drivers is important. When a person is killed in such an accident, their families are often left reeling with both grief and unexpected financial losses. Families may want to speak with a personal injury attorney about seeking recompense through wrongful death civil lawsuits filed against the impaired driver seeking damages for the losses that they have sustained.

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