Rideshare services are a convenience that many people enjoy, whether they are exploring a new city or traveling around their own hometown. Many people take advantage of these services since they can call a ride directly from an app.
Ridesharing might be incredibly useful, but it is important for North Carolina passengers to note that safety reports regarding rideshares vary – and even contradict each other.
Conflicting studies about rideshares and accidents
Even as the popularity of ridesharing continues to increase, the chance of an accident remains. Most road users are aware of this risk, but it seems that studies cannot agree on how much of a risk passengers face in a rideshare.
For example, two different studies determined that:
- Rideshares are reducing accidents: A recent report based on data from Houston, Texas, indicates that the increased use of rideshares reduces the number of collisions. The primary reason for this decrease is that rideshares offer individuals a way home after a night out that does not involve driving under the influence. The study found that using rideshares decreased the rate of accidents by 3% for every 1,000 rides.
- But rideshares also cause accidents: On the other hand, a 2018 study reported that rideshare services also contributed to an increase in accidents. According to the University of Chicago and Rice University, rideshare accidents increased traffic fatalities between 2% and 3%.
The studies’ findings might vary, but it is important to be aware of both of them. Safety should always come first, and understanding the risks of the road is the first step to prioritizing it.
What can passengers do?
None of this information is to say individuals should not use rideshare services. However, they should take great care whenever they get into a vehicle, whether they are a driver or passenger.
If using a rideshare service, it is critical to:
- Be aware of the most common causes of rideshare accidents, namely distracted driving and fatigue
- Check the driver’s rating each time they hail a ride
- Always wear a seatbelt, as simple as it might sound
- Politely ask drivers to avoid distractions, such as using their phone or GPS, while driving
It is also critical for individuals to remember that there is legal recourse for passengers who suffer injuries in a rideshare accident. Even so, both drivers and passengers can take steps to make their rides safe.