Uber and Lyft caused up to a 3% increase in US traffic deaths

The introduction of ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft have fundamentally changed how many individuals are transported in cities and towns worldwide on a daily basis.

A recent study from the University of Chicago estimates Uber and Lyft have increased traffic deaths by 2-3 percent in the USA. That estimate is equal 1100 additional deaths a year.

This study backs up that Uber and Lyft have cannibalized transit trips and increased driving. The study found that cities with high adoption of Uber and Lyft had 3 percent more total miles driven daily on average than cities with low adoption. The effect was even bigger in larger cities and cities that had high rates of transit ridership.

Beginning in the mid-1980s the United States experienced a dramatic decrease in fatal accidents per capita and per vehicle mile driven. In 2010, 32,885 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States, the lowest number of fatalities since 1949 (NHTSA, 2012). This decline halted and then reversed shortly after the introduction of ridesharing into U.S. cities.

  U.S. Motor Vehicle Death per VMT, Death per Capita, Total Death, VMT and Population  This figure was produced by Dennis Bratland and is reproduced here under creative commons license. The figure uses NHTSA FARS and CrashStats data to depict total U.S. motor vehicle deaths, deaths per VMT, deaths per capita, VMT and population for the period 1920-2017.

U.S. Motor Vehicle Death per VMT, Death per Capita, Total Death, VMT and Population
This figure was produced by Dennis Bratland and is reproduced here under creative commons license. The figure uses NHTSA FARS and CrashStats data to depict total U.S. motor vehicle deaths, deaths per VMT, deaths per capita, VMT and population for the period 1920-2017.