Rideshare companies such as Lyft and Uber have become household names. Ridesharing has brought great benefits to drivers and customers alike. Drivers earn a little extra side-cash, and customers get transportation through the convenience of an app.
Some go as far as to argue that ridesharing reduces the number of dangerous drivers or intoxicated drivers on the road, thus improving public safety. But are our streets truly safer with the advent of ridesharing?
One study out of the University of Chicago on the topic of fatal rideshare collisions reports that since 2010, the number of rideshare collisions per 100,000 individuals rose from two to three-and-a-half.
That same study also reports that, since 2010, the number of fatal rideshare collisions, including those involving pedestrians, has seen a 3% uptick.
Why the rise in rideshare collisions?
It could be argued that the rise in fatal car crashes involving rideshare drivers can be attributed to more motorists on U.S. roads, leading to an increase in the number of risky drivers. But, this can be said both of rideshare drivers and non-rideshare drivers alike.
In addition, motorists do not need any special training, special licenses aside from a standard driver’s license or any specific certificates to be rideshare drivers. Rideshare companies have gone as far as to state that they do not vet their drivers, meaning those with a history of negligent or reckless driving could be behind the wheel of a rideshare vehicle.
Although ridesharing brings drivers the freedoms to work and earn as much as they want and although ridesharing is an easy way for customers to get from point A to point B, ridesharing still carries risks. Largely unregulated, unvetted rideshare drivers can behave recklessly or without regard for the safety of others, leading to fatal crashes.