By Marcia Frellick : chicagobooth – excerpt
While the era of app-based ridehailing services, such as Uber and Lyft, has been credited with keeping more impaired drivers off the road, increasing job opportunities and offering new levels of convenience, it is also linked with more congestion and traffic deaths.
The arrival of ridehailing is associated with an increase of approximately 3 percent in the number of motor vehicle fatalities and fatal accidents, according to research from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
The researchers used the staggered roll-out dates from Uber and Lyft to review the eight quarters before and after ridehailing adoption in large U.S. cities from 2001 to 2016—analyzing traffic volume, transportation choices and accidents to arrive at their conclusion.
The documented increase in accidents appears to persist and even increase over time, and that rate has stayed steady through weekdays, weeknights, weekend days and weekend nights, according to John Barrios, assistant professor at Chicago Booth, and Yale V. Hochberg and Hanyi Yi, both of Rice University, in the working paper, The Cost of Convenience: Ridehailing and Traffic Fatalities….
Ridehailing has put more cars on the road, and that has meant more accidents, injuries, and deaths involving drivers, passengers, bikers, and pedestrians, the study says…
While the authors note that ridehailing benefits are undeniable, such as providing safe and affordable transportation options, more carpooling for riders, and job opportunities for drivers, they emphasize that, “still, the annual cost in human lives is nontrivial.” Instead, they view the essential contribution of their study as “pointing to the need for further research and debate about the overall cost-benefit tradeoff of ridehailing.”