HealthDay News — Ride-sharing services may reduce the rate of motor vehicle crashes, particularly alcohol-involved crashes, in some cities, according to a study published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Christopher N. Morrison, PhD, from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted interrupted time-series analyses using weekly counts of injury crashes and the proportion that were alcohol-involved in 4 US cities (Las Vegas; Reno, Nevada; Portland, Oregon; and San Antonio). Cities were selected where Uber launched, ceased, and then resumed operations between 2013 and 2016, based on the assumption that resumption after a temporary break would produce a more substantial change in ridership than an initial launch.

The researchers found that the results partially supported the hypothesis that Uber’s resumption would be associated with fewer alcohol-involved crashes. After Uber’s resumption in Portland, there was a 61.8% reduction in the alcohol-involved crash rate, although there was no concomitant change in all injury crashes.

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“Relationships between ride-sharing and motor vehicle crashes differ between cities over time and may depend on specific local characteristics,” conclude the authors.

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Morrison CN, Jacoby SF, Dong B, Delgado MK, Wiebe DJ. Ridesharing and motor vehicle crashes in 4 US cities: an interrupted time-series analysis [published online June 14, 2017]. Am J Epidemiol. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwx233