Did you have good time on the Fourth of July? While the Independence Day holiday weekend is a wonderful time for celebration, unfortunately it’s also the occasion of many traffic deaths. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are more deaths in vehicle crashes on July 4 than any other day. And in 2014 alcohol was a factor in almost half of the Independence Day vehicle deaths, according to Uber’s newsroom.
This year Uber partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and local law enforcement agencies in 25 U.S. cities to raise awareness about drunk driving alternatives prior to the holiday weekend. Uber also offered discounted or free rides in the same 25 cities on July 4. And apparently, Uber’s program had a noticeable and positive effect.
Results from all states aren’t yet available, according to Uber, but preliminary reports for California, Chicago, San Antonio, and Virginia indicate those states experienced fewer drunk driving arrests and deaths on this year’s Independence Day. The state of Nevada had particularly significant results, in that for the first time in ten years it experienced no DUI-related deaths.
“Over the 4th of July weekend, Uber partnered with the NV DPS/OTS and NHP in an effort to educate Nevadans about safe transportation alternatives to impaired driving,” said Officer David Gibson of the Nevada Department of Public Safety. “This promotion yielded zero alcohol-related fatal crashes over the 4th of July weekend, the first time in over ten years in Nevada. Part of this success is thanks to our holiday partnership with Uber, which helped spread the message of safe and sober transportation options.”
Uber is going to continue as MADD’s designated-driver partner, based on data that shows significantly more ride requests into the evening of July 4. In surveys, Uber has found that more than 80 percent of its riders have reported that Uber helps them avoid drunk driving. In this case, it appears that an awareness program may be making a noticeable difference in keeping our roads safer.