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Car-sharing services reduce drunk driving fatalities

Anyone in New York who has used or heard about Uber might be interested to hear that it and similar car-sharing services have reduced the number of fatalities resulting from drunk driving accidents, according to a study from Temple University researchers. Uber has advertised its service at times as a way to return home after an evening out that involves consuming alcoholic beverages. As part of its marketing, it set up a breath test kiosk in an area of Toronto that has a lot of bars earlier in 2015.

The study involved data from California that stretched over the period from 2009 to 2014. Depending on the service, the researchers found that the number of DUI deaths has declined since Uber entered the market. During the five years analyzed, there was a 3.6 to 5.6 percent fall in alcohol-related driving fatalities, which the researchers say was related to the use of Uber X, the company's basic service. They concluded that launching Uber X across the country would save 500 lives a year.

Although car-sharing companies have released studies that say these services reduce instances of drunk driving, the Temple University researchers are the first to conduct an independent study to confirm this claim. Due to the findings, the researchers suggest that cities loosen oppressive regulations to allow taxi and car-sharing companies to complete on a more even playing field, which could help services such as Uber become accepted in more areas across the country. They also suggest that restaurants and bars sign up with Uber and similar companies to offer patrons a way to get home safely.

With 13,000 deaths a year related to drunk driving accidents, there are many cases in which the surviving family members may be entitled to compensation. A family who has lost a loved one in an accident caused by a drunk driver may want to speak to an attorney about the advisability of filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party.

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