Californians often pride themselves on being on the cutting edge when it comes to advancements in technology. After all, the Silicon Valley area is home to many of the world's most advanced technology innovators. But even people in Orange County stand ready to pioneer and take advantage of new ideas and to spread them throughout the country.
When it comes to safer driving and reducing motor vehicle accidents, car manufacturers have been looking more and more toward technology. Aside from auto makers, though, drivers in California may also rely on technology companies to help keep them safe. For example, smartphone apps like Lyft and Uber are supposed to be a safe and cost-efficient alternative to driving or getting a taxi. But with regard to reducing fatal drunk driving accidents, do these apps deliver results?
According to research in the American Journal of Epidemiology, the answer to that question may be "no." Because these apps are so easy to use, it may seem logical that a person would be more likely to rely on them if they have had too much to drink and need a ride home. However, scientists at the University of Southern California and Oxford University say that these apps have no effect on drunk driving fatalities. That data runs contrary to a 2015 study that Uber conducted, which found that in California, drunk driving crashes dropped substantially, thanks to Uber.
Regardless of whether ride-share apps are available and convenient, no one should have to suffer through the loss of a loved one due to a drunk driver. Getting behind the wheel after having even a few drinks can be a form of negligence if the driver then causes an accident. Someday technology may advance to the point where drunk driving will no longer occur. In the meantime, all drivers should be responsible and not drive after drinking alcohol. Those who choose to drive impaired may face not only criminal charges, but civil liabilities as well.
Source: Fortune, " A New Study Says Uber Has Had No Impact on Drunk Driving," Sy Mukherjee, July 28, 2016