Auto Service World
News   May 7, 2023   by Auto Service World Staff

Legalities of Drunk Driving Accidents: Can Ridesharing Services Help?

Almost everyone knows how dangerous drunk driving is. However, you may be surprised that quite a good number of people who know the dangers of drunk driving have driven drunk at least once. Sometimes, people who drive drunk don’t plan to. On occasion, people lose their inhibition after a few drinks and get behind the wheel, putting their lives and the lives of other road users at risk.

According to statistics from the NHTSA, approximately 28 people die on American roads due to drunk driving every day. Even if the accident isn’t fatal, drunk driving can pose major risks to the driver and passengers as well as pedestrians and other drivers on the road. If you or someone you know has been involved in such an accident, it is imperative to get in touch with an experienced attorney or law firm, such as Price Benowitz Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP. This article will delve into the legalities of drunk driving accidents and analyze whether ridesharing services can help reduce them.

Legalities of Drunk Driving Accidents

Drunk driving is a criminal offense, and law enforcement plays a major role in such accidents. They carefully gather evidence, including witness testimonies, police reports, breathalyzer tests, and blood alcohol level tests, to establish liability and fault. Once established, criminal charges may be pursued, ranging from driving under the influence (DUI) or reckless endangerment to vehicular manslaughter.

Throughout the years, the government and non-profit organizations have been advising drunk individuals to use a taxi or have a designated driver, both through advocacy and penal procedures. While these approaches have been somewhat effective in reducing drunk driving, the entrant of ridesharing seems to offer more hope in reducing instances of people driving under the influence.

Understanding RideSharing

Ridesharing is an arrangement that allows a person with a privately owned vehicle to offer rides to other individuals traveling in the same direction as the driver. All a person needs is to register with a ridesharing app to request a ride or share one. The main difference between ridesharing and a taxi is that you can’t flag down a rideshare car on the road as you would a taxi. Meetups only happen online through the app, and the driver picks up the person seeking a ride.

Since the service came into the market, ridesharing apps have facilitated over 11 billion rides. This number can only go higher as more people embrace this option as a convenient mode of transportation that is both cheap and safe if you choose to have a good time without a designated driver. Uber and Lyft are the most common ridesharing options. However, there are several other new entrants as ride-sharing gains popularity as an alternative option to public transportation.

Impact of Ridesharing Services on Drunk Driving Accidents

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Studies of Alcohol and Drugs, ridesharing seems to have a substantial impact on reducing alcohol-related accidents. The study was conducted in Chicago, where ridesharing data is much more detailed, allowing researchers to better assess the effect ridesharing has on drunk driving incidents. According to results from the study, every rideshare trip per square mile resulted in a 0.2 percent reduction in the odds of an alcohol-related crash. While the benefits of one rideshare trip may seem insignificant, the difference can be enormous when viewed in the context of the number of rides shared in a day, week, or year.

However, not all studies paint the same picture. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at UPenn conducted another study that indicated variations in the outcomes. According to the university’s findings, some cities showed no improvement in DUI accidents, even as ridesharing usage increased. Even so, ridesharing is still an excellent option for reducing drunk driving, which road safety stakeholders can use in their campaigns to combat the vice.

The Importance of Safe Driving Practices

While the introduction of ridesharing services has definitely helped reduce instances of drunk driving, a combination of advocacy and legal penalties is still a must to prevent them. By working together, attorneys, law enforcement authorities, advocates, and the government, as well as ridesharing service providers, can highlight the importance of safe driving practices on the road and incentivize users to opt for them. Those involved in such accidents, on the other hand, can seek help and guidance from experienced lawyers to maximize their chances for compensation and shorten their road to recovery.