One of the more terrible scourges of modernity is that humans willingly get behind the wheel of their car when visibly impaired.
The awfulness of the crime is magnified by the fact that it’s so easily preventable. Don’t drink, don’t drive. It’s exasperatingly simple, and yet we are frequently unable to do it.
Thankfully, there’s an app for that. Uber (and associated companies) are helping reduce DUIs in the cities the operate in. You may hate Uber, you may spend thousands on it in a single month, but that’s nothing compared to the awful possibilities that can happen when you drink and drive.
New research shows that DUIs have been reduced by 10 percent upon the service’s introduction.
We estimate the entrance of Uber into Seattle caused DUI arrests to decrease by 10%.
As a first step, we estimated a simple regression discontinuity that tested whether the incidence of DUI changed in Seattle before and after Uber entered, controlling for a time trend, day of the week effects, and the legalization of marijuana (which seems to have caused a spike in DUI)
By this approach, Uber is responsible for approximately -.7 DUIs per day, or more than a 10% reduction overall. However, this approach is inherently weakened by the fact that many things could have caused DUI to go down around the time when Uber entered. In order to test the robustness of this estimate, we use San Francisco as a control city in a “differences-in-differences” framework. The result is consistent.
This study, from a DUI school in Nevada, reinforces research out of Temple, which found Uber and Lyft have tremendously reduced incidents of vehicular homicide.
Using a difference-in-difference approach to exploit a natural experiment, the entry of two Uber services into markets in California between 2009 and 2014, we find a significant drop in the rate of homicides after the introduction of Uber.
Again, as much as you may dislike them, you can’t deny they are doing some good.
I imagine this won’t go to their head at all.