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Studies disagree on whether ride-sharing reduces drunk driving

For many in Missouri, the availability of ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber has been a helpful convenience for a night out with friends. While some studies credit the services with spurring a decrease in drunk driving, others are not so conclusive.

As the New York Times reports, a study sponsored by Uber in 2015 made very direct conclusions about ride-sharing's effectiveness against drunk driving, stating that it was responsible for a 10 percent drop in DUI arrests after the service began in Seattle. Several independent studies have also found connections between decreases in drunk driving after the introduction of Uber and other services in a community. A study from West Carolina University found that as Uber introduced service into new communities across the country there was a corresponding decrease in fatal accidents nationwide. A study of New York City's boroughs except for Staten Island found that after Uber was introduced in 2011, alcohol-related car crashes decreased between 25 and 35 percent compared to areas without ride-sharing, although the researcher who wrote the study stated that more information is needed to make broader conclusions.

Other researchers agree, stating that while it seems logical that Uber and Lyft would help reduce drunk driving instances, drunk people do not always make the most responsible decisions. In fact, in a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers looked at 100 large metro areas around the country to see the effects ride-sharing had on fatal car accidents. According to Fortune, they found no association between the rollout of ride-sharing services on traffic fatalities, whether those included alcohol or not.

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