Particularly in big cities, hailing a ride via smartphone app is often the easiest way to get from point A to point B. It is also a good way to get home after having a few drinks.
In spite of the obvious benefits, research indicates that the advent of ride-sharing has not been the safety boon it appears to be on the surface.
1. Quantity over quality
Forbes reports on data that shows more vehicles are now on the road than ever before. These include vehicles offering rides to people who may have otherwise taken public transportation such as subways, trains and buses that are readily available in cities with dense populations and heavy traffic. People who used to walk or bike to their destinations also tend to rely more on ride-sharing options.
The result of the increase in traffic has been an increase in injury and fatality accidents.
2. Drowsy driving
Another study, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, indicates that there is a lack of regulations when it comes to fatigue and health problems that affect drivers’ alertness.
In other transportation industries, hours-of-service rules and health screenings lower the risk of fatigued driving. However, ride-sharing drivers work as independent contractors. Although some companies have instituted rest periods after driving shifts, many drivers are not subject to these types of safety measures.
Law enforcement must rely on the word of the driver rather than a chemical test to include fatigue on a crash report. So, experts believe the number of drowsy driving accidents is much higher than the annual average of 328,000 crashes that data indicates. People who offer ride-sharing services in addition to working a full-time job are likely contributors to this number.