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New Study Links Ridesharing to More Accident Injuries

Published on Apr 7, 2020 at 7:50 am in Rideshare Accidents.

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According to a new study from researchers at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, ride-hailing trips increase the number of crashes for pedestrians and motorists at pick-up and drop-off locations.

This study is the first to use data from individual Uber and Lyft trips, as opposed to comparing cities where ridesharing is available to those where it’s not. The study is published in the Injury Prevention journal.

Globally, motor vehicle accidents are one of the main causes of death, resulting in approximately 1.3 million fatalities per year. Just in the United States in 2018, 33,654 people were killed and 2.3 million were injured in crashes.

While other studies have suggested drunk driving crashes decrease when ridesharing becomes available in a city, there is no overall change in the number of crashes. This likely has to do with the fact that more vehicles are on the road with the uptick in ride-hailing. Since 2010, it’s estimated that Uber and Lyft have provided over 11 billion trips in the United States.

The Columbia University study used data from 372 million rideshare trips in Ney York City from 2017 and 2018. They mapped out where motor vehicle accidents occurred and calculated the number of ridesharing trips that originated nearby. That data was then compared to the number of ride-hailing trips that happened in the same location one week before and one week after the wreck. Researchers did the same for taxis and then separated the crashes according to injuries involving motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists.

The results of the data showed an increase in ridesharing trips coincided with a rise in crashes where motorists and pedestrians were injured. No link was found for cyclist crashes or taxi trips.

The researchers suggest the data can be used by cities and rideshare companies to prevent injuries. According to Christopher Morrison, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School, and first author on the research, “There are so many rideshare trips every day in our cities, even tiny changes in risks can have a big impact on the total number of injuries. In congested areas with large numbers of rideshare pick-ups and drops-off, cities could consider installing taxi-rank style infrastructure to protect pedestrians and prevent crashes.”

If you’ve been injured a rideshare accident and you believe negligence played a role, you can take legal action to seek compensation for your losses. Pursuing a claim against a rideshare driver or company can be challenging, but the Rideshare Law Group is prepared to guide you through the process and fight for your recovery. Contact us today to learn more.