For most drivers, it likely comes as little surprise that traffic congestion is a frequent contributing cause of car accidents. Now, to be sure, traffic is not nearly as dangerous to public safety as drunk or distracted driving, but this does not mean traffic congestion is a negligible safety risk. Far from it, in fact.

Today, there are well over 200 million licensed drivers on American roads today, and that figure is only growing. And, this figure does not include the seemingly inevitable inclusion of a potential future with millions of self-driving cars, which may eventually be fully autonomous. Similarly, the number of miles driven has been on the rise, all while fewer roads are being built and the ones we have often need repairs.

All of these factors combine to increase traffic congestion, which creates an increased accident risk when combined with other unsafe driving behaviors. The University of North Carolina’s Highway Safety Research Center, for example, found that 1 out of every 4 car accidents occur during rush hour in an extensive study. Further, the study also found that all crash types are at their highest between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

These findings indicate that the likelihood of a traffic accident occurring increases during rush hour for many Americans. In light of these findings, it is interesting to note that other studies also suggest that ride-sharing actually increases city traffic, rather than preventing or decreasing congestion.

Does Ride-Sharing Increase City Traffic?

In large cities, it cannot be forgotten that travelers often have a number of transit options that are often not possible in more rural areas. In New York City, for example, millions of commuters choose to take the city subway every month, and walking, biking or riding the bus are all frequently chosen travel options as well. Even so, many of these travelers are increasingly choosing ridesharing.

A Crain’s New York piece recently shed light on findings that nearly 60% of ride-sharing users in large and densely populous cities would have walked, biked, taken public transportation or not made a trip if it were not for the availability of ride-sharing services. While this news is welcome for ride-sharing companies and their bottom line, it also increases the likelihood of city congestion.

Worse, transportation consultant Bruce Schaller’s extensive data also appears to indicate that shared rides only slightly reduce the traffic congestion on city streets. Unless and until large and densely populated cities implement policy measures to reduce city congestion (such as dedicated bus lanes, as recommended by Schaller), then the risks of traffic congestion in large cities will continue to be a safety issue.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a ride-sharing accident in a large city, discuss your legal options and the right to compensation with a Ledger Law ride-sharing lawyer. Contact us online today to receive a legal consultation that will help you weigh your options and pursue the compensation that is owed to you as a ridesharing accident victim. 

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