As the popularity of ridesharing services continues to grow, questions may arise about their impact on road safety. Companies like Uber and Lyft boast that almost 100% of their rides conclude without an incident. This figure certainly suggests a high level of protection for their users.
However, it’s also true that the constant presence of these vehicles on the road could contribute to an increase in overall traffic and potential hazards. While ridesharing services offer a convenient alternative to traditional transportation methods, it’s important to consider the broader implications of their use on road safety.
More cars on the road
Ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft mean an increase in the number of cars on the road. When someone books a ride, a car that could have been parked is now on the move. This adds to the number of vehicles on the road, making them busier. With busier roads comes a higher chance of accidents. So, while these services are convenient, they also add more cars to the mix, potentially increasing the risk of crashes.
One of the key tasks for ridesharing drivers is to handle bookings while on the road. This often leads to drivers using their phones to accept new ride requests and navigate to their destinations, potentially causing distracted driving.
Race for more passengers
Drivers for ridesharing services earn based on the number of passengers they pick up and drop off. This results in frequent stops and starts, which could lead to unpredictable road behavior. Other drivers may not anticipate these actions, thereby increasing the risk of accidents.
Ridesharing services, while convenient, might contribute to road accidents. They are not the primary cause, but they add factors that increase the risk, such as more cars on the road, drivers multitasking with bookings and the constant drop-off and pick-up of passengers. Given the significant number of rides booked each year, more people using these services could exacerbate these risks. Therefore, ridesharing companies must prioritize the safety of passengers, drivers and other road users. Doing so could lessen the crash risks of those most vulnerable, such as pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists.