Ride sharing services like Uber may have played a major role in helping reduce the number of drunk driving accidents in major Indiana cities like Indianapolis, but they are also linked to an alarmingly high number of pedestrian accidents involving the users of these services as well as the drivers who provide them.
According to a new study, pick up and drop off points are common sites in crashes involving ride share services like Uber or Lyft. These pickup and drop off points tend to be located near busy areas. Passengers may be busy on their cell phones while drivers may be trying to track the accurate location on their GOS. This kind of distraction combined with the fact that these pickup and drop off points are typically near commercially busy and congested areas, creates conditions that are ripe for accidents to occur. Apart from the distracted passengers and drivers, other possible risk factors include the relative inexperience of Uber or Lyft drivers in navigating busy roads.
These findings came from a study conducted by researchers at Columbia University. Researchers found that while these ride- sharing services were responsible for an overall drop in accidents, there were certain types of accidents that increased in the cities where these services are extremely popular.
No one would deny the role of these services in de-congesting our cities and streets, and therefore, it is important that cities, look closer at common accident magnets involving ride share services, and develop strategies to alleviate these crash risks. For instant, designating common pick up and drop off points, that are located far away from congested traffic areas, could help drivers and passengers find each other with minimum risk to their safety.