STUDY: Uber reducing drunk driving among younger drivers

STUDY: Uber reducing drunk driving among younger drivers

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Uber and Mothers Against Drunk Driving released a study on Thursday saying that the introduction of the app-based transportation service has actually decreased the number of drunk-driving crashes over the past two and a half years.

The findings says that since July 2012, monthly alcohol-related crashes decreased by 6.5 percent among drivers under 30 in California.

Uber began operating in Lubbock in July. Brady Howell and E.J. Mahan are two independent contractors for the service. After a specified background check, both were approved to drive customers in their personal vehicles.

They believe that Uber is also making an impact in Lubbock by decreasing the chances of drunk-crashes in the area. They said most of their customers are Texas Tech students, who tell them using Uber is more efficient than taking the campus Safe Ride bus.

While Howell initially became an Uber driver for extra income, he said now he appreciates how Lubbock citizens rely on his service to make responsible decisions not to drive while intoxicated.

"You can tell who's needing a ride home, who's not needing a ride home," he said, "and usually they're pretty responsible about what they're doing. They're understanding that Uber is here to help and that's what we want to do."

The Texas Department of Transportation reports that in Lubbock County alone, there were 13 fatal DUI crashes during 2013. That's a tragedy that Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) West Texas Affiliate aims to prevent.

"Whether it be a taxi service, or Uber, or a non-drinking designated driver, it is a positive influence for our community," said Amanda Eldredge, victim service specialist for MADD. "It keeps our roads safe, it keeps us safe and it keeps yourself safe, so it's a positive influence any way you get home."

During this Super Bowl Sunday, Uber will donate one dollar to MADD for every trip taken between three that afternoon until midnight.

Customers must enter the promo code THINKANDRIDE to utilize this deal.

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