Uber reduces DUIs, traffic fatalities, and accidents. The drivers are safer because it is cashless and the entire trip is tracked online. And they carry more insurance than the cabs. They are more available and better serve their customers. By all means lets harass and regulate them in the name of public safety.
Such new business models are a challenge to the regulatory state, and expose them as more interested in their power and their special interests than the public’s safety and welfare.
From Jared Meyer at National Review, Why Americans Love the Sharing Economy
The paper looked at 150 cities and countries from 2010 through 2013 and found that “for each additional year of operation, Uber’s continued presence is associated with a 16.6 percent decline in vehicular fatalities.” This is in addition to the 18 percent decline in fatal nighttime crashes after Uber entered a new market. For DUIs, Uber’s introduction led to a one-time 33 percent decline that was followed by an annual average decline of 51 percent in the following years.
The survey results are also supported by other data. Uber’s entry into Seattle was associated with a 10 percent decrease in drunk-driving arrests. Controlling for outside factors, after UberX launched in cities across California, monthly alcohol-related crashes decreased by 6.5 percent among drivers under 30 (amounting to 59 fewer crashes per month). This decline was not observed in California markets without UberX. When drunk driving decreases, it benefits all motorists, not just ride-sharing passengers.
People often forget that driving a taxi is dangerous because its business model is conducive to crime and violence. For one thing, taxi trips are anonymous. Drivers also carry cash. The average cash fare for New York City taxi trips in 2014 was around $12. With a typical driver shift of 9.5 hours and around 45 percent of trips paid for in cash, it is safe to assume that, on average, taxi drivers are carrying at least $100 in cash, which makes them attractive targets for robberies. This is one reason why the homicide rate for taxi drivers is 20 times higher than the U.S. civilian average and more than double the rate for police officers.
These dangers are corrected with ride-sharing. The identities of passengers and drivers are both verified, and safety is reinforced through the feedback system. Ride-sharing companies also track both parties’ locations throughout the trip. Additionally, no cash ever changes hands, since all payments are taken care of electronically.