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What safety impacts is ride-sharing having out on the roads?

Thumbnail image for rideshare.gifRide-sharing has been rapidly growing here in the United States. It is estimated that, in 2016, the monthly average for miles driven by Lyft and Uber drivers in the nation was around 500 million.

This increasingly popular transportation option brings lots of conveniences for travelers; but what traffic safety impacts is it having?

A recent study suggests there may be some safety drawbacks to the growth in ride-sharing.

The study reviewed federal crash data to see what happened with the level of serious and fatal accidents in major U.S. cities after ride-sharing platforms entered those cities. It found that, generally, serious and deadly crashes went up around 3 percent after the introduction of ride-sharing platforms.

The study did not track how many crashes involved ride-sharing vehicles.

A researcher with the study noted that this trend may have to do with ride-sharing introducing more cars out on the roads, which could possibly be increasing the potential for accidents.

Uber and Lyft both contest the study's findings.

As a note, studies have been mixed in their findings on safety and ride-sharing. Some past research pointed to ride-sharing having no impact on traffic fatality levels. Another study suggested ride-sharing is linked to a decrease in drunk driving.

There are still a great deal of questions about what the growth in ride-sharing means for safety out on the roads.

It is critical for ride-share drivers, like any other driver, to act responsibly out on the roads. When such individuals engage in drowsy driving, distracted driving, or other negligence, they create accident risks. This puts the safety of their passengers and others in danger.

What would you most like to see ride-share companies do to help ensure their drivers act in a safe manner behind the wheel? What things do you think would most help keep ride-sharing as safe as possible?

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