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Studies not conclusive on impact of ride-sharing on drunk driving

Many in Louisiana have used a service such as Uber or Lyft to get a ride home after a night on the town. However, studies have come to varying conclusions on whether or not drunk driving has decreased in areas that have ride-sharing services available.

According to Fortune, researchers studied 100 major metropolitan areas to see if services like Uber had changed their traffic fatalities. The study, which was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found no association between the introduction of Uber and its competitors and a decrease in car crash deaths. They compared data from before and after ride-sharing services came to the communities and did not find any associated drop in either drunk-driving deaths or any other type of traffic death. As the New York Times explains, researchers explained that there is so much varying data available that "there is plenty of opportunity to cherry-pick data." They warn against making too strong of conclusions regarding the effects of Uber and Lyft on a community.

However, several other studies have come out with contradictory findings. Researchers at West Carolina University found a correlation between a decrease in fatal car crashes across the country and the rollout of ride-sharing services nationwide. A recent study of data in New York City found that compared to communities that do not have ride-sharing available, there was a 25 to 35 percent drop in alcohol-related accidents since Uber became available in the city in 2011. The most complimentary study of ride-sharing reducing drunk driving came from a 2015 study sponsored by Uber in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

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