Stars and Stripes and Safer Roads

Independence Day weekend has historically been a time for fireworks, family — and traffic fatalities. More people die in motor vehicle crashes on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year. Alcohol was a factor in nearly half of July 4th roadway fatalities in 2014, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

But this year Americans may have one more reason to celebrate: preliminary news reports in places including California, Chicago, San Antonio, and Virginia suggest there were fewer drunk driving fatalities and arrests. In the state of Nevada, there were zero DUI-related fatalities for the first time in a decade.

In the weeks leading up to the holiday, Uber worked with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), law enforcement, highway safety patrol, and business owners in over 25 cities nationwide to raise awareness about alternatives to drunk driving.

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“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 … 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.”

– Officer David Gibson, Nevada Dept. Public Safety

Uber was in high demand well into the night of July 4th, providing riders with an easy and affordable alternative to driving after drinking. The chart below shows trip request volume on the night of the 4th — with requests peaking late at night.

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These trends are consistent with data Uber and MADD recently released showing that when our riders know they have an alternative to drinking and driving, they’ll take it. For example, more than 80% of riders surveyed say that Uber has helped them avoid driving while drunk. Time and again we see that when people can press a button and get a ride, they’re more likely to make good decisions at the end of the night — and get home safely.

That’s heartening news given the enormous — and preventable — toll of drunk driving. In 2014, 290,000 people were injured in DUI crashes and nearly 10,000 people lost their lives. As MADD’s designated driving partner, Uber is committed to improving safety in every community where we operate. By working together, we can save lives and help keep our country safe.