New drunk driving research shows Uber's claim of reducing DUIs is false
It has long ceased to be BREAKING NEWS when Uber lies or exaggerates. It is, after all, the Donald Trump of startups.
But there was certainly REMARKABLE NEWS to be found in research published this week by the American Journal of Epidemiology: Uber and Lyft have caused no measurable decline in drunk driving incidents.
We already knew Uber was full of crap when it boasted that partnering with the Saudi government showed the company was pro woman, we knew it was lying when Uber said it didn't hire private investigators to go after critics, we knew that surge pricing wasn't really about getting more drivers on the roads, and that they had robus background checks. And of course we knew that most of their boasts about safety, and growth, and fundraising and just about everything else (at best) stretched the truth to breaking point.
But the drink driving thing we believed, because it sounded, well... obvious. The more people who take Ubers, the fewer of them drive while drunk.
Not so, says the Journal of Epidemiology (quoted in Fortune):
The study centers on the 100 most populated American metropolitan regions and was conducted by scientists from the University of Southern California and Oxford University.The results were striking. “We found that the deployment of Uber services in a given metropolitan county had no association with the number of subsequent traffic fatalities, whether measured in aggregate or specific to drunk-driving fatalities or fatalities during weekends and holidays,” wrote the researchers.
Both Uber and Lyft have encouraged the public to think they were good, overall, for safety. But for years Uber has boasted - trumpeted, even - that they have reduced DUIs across America. It has been one of the company's major selling points to local regulators who were considering restricting Uber's operations.
When Austin voters demanded better background checks and Uber petulantly stormed out of the city, the company claimed that drunk driving incidents had dramatically spiked. In fact, that claim was later shown to be false.
Here's a blog post entitled "DUI Rates Decline in Uber Cities" where the company breakdown how they've reduced DUIs nationwide.
BREAKING NEWS: Now we know even Uber's common sense claims aren't true.