Uber & Lyft Increased Seattle Traffic by More Than 100 Million Miles

Uber & Lyft Increased Seattle Traffic by More Than 100 Million Miles

In recent weeks, New York City has taken efforts to cut down on the overall traffic congestion in the city by capping the number of allowed ride-hailing vehicles, but it seems New York isn’t America’s only large, metropolitan city that is having a hard time with congestion problems due to the popularity of ride-hailing services. 

A study from the Seattle Department of Transportation found that nearly 20 million rides were taken in Seattle in just 2017. Also, this data suggests that ridesharing services are not leading to a reduction in overall driving in big cities. Actually, passengers who would otherwise be taking public transit or just walking to get where they’re going are now more likely to rely on leading rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber. 

How Much Traffic Congestion in Seattle Is Due to Uber & Lyft?

Uber & Lyft Increased Seattle Traffic by More Than 100 Million MilesLike in most large cities, ridesharing has only been a transit option in Seattle for a few years now. Leading companies like Uber and Lyft both came to the area in 2014, but Seattle acclimated to the new service rather quickly. 

Due to the rapid growth of ridesharing companies, it’s easy to forget that many cities, including Seattle and New York, have implemented measures intended to limit the number of ridesharing drivers on its roads. Seattle passed a regulation in 2014 limiting an individual ride-sharing company to have no more than 150 drivers on the road at a single time in the city. As these companies continued to grow, the regulation eventually just went away. 

Uber alone now has nearly 14,000 drivers operating in Seattle, taken from a figure based on a Washington State Supreme Court opinion from May of 2018. If you are wondering why these figures should be mentioned in the Supreme Court, it’s because ridesharing companies have tried their best to prevent releasing ridership data to the public. 

This makes it difficult to get a precise figure on the amount of traffic congestion that can be attributed to ridesharing services, but reasonable efforts have been made in order to estimate the congestion Uber and Lyft cause in major cities. 

Bruce Shaller, an independent transportation consultant who has earned national attention, established a methodology that revealed the two leading rideshare companies have led to a nearly 94 million additional miles driven on roadways in the Seattle area in 2017 alone. Somewhat surprisingly, Uber didn’t argue against Schaller’s methodology or conclusion but instead chose to contest the idea that an additional 94 million miles are a cause for concern. In Uber’s response, the company pointed to national data that showed the Seattle area hit 94 million miles in nearly two days.

However, it seems clear that the risk of ride-sharing accidents increases as more miles are driven and the ridesharing industry continues to grow.

Lyft Has Provided 1 Billion Trips

In 2018, Lyft celebrated a milestone of making 1 billion trips in just a few years. As one of the primary competitors in the ridesharing industry, this rapid rise is quite remarkable. 

Here are just some of the fun facts championed by the brand to commemorate the occasion:

  • 76 million rides to the airport have been provided.
  • 500,000 rides have taken passengers to Disneyland.
  • 233 million rides have been shared.
  • 88 million rides were provided during happy hour.

These statistics effectively celebrates much of what the company has marketed since its beginning, even the clever mention of happy hour rides. In the end, Lyft and Uber have long touted the capability of their industry to reduce drinking and driving rates. This is a rather memorable milestone for a company that launched only eight years ago back in June of 2012. 

However, with this milestone for the company also comes a different understanding when views through a personal injury law perspective. More specifically, the company has revolutionized how millions of Americans get around, and with this reality comes the increased risk of a ridesharing collision. 

Lyft’s Growth Has Led to More Collisions Involving Lyft Drivers

As more and more rides are provided by these ridesharing companies, it’s only logical to think that more crashes will continue to involve ridesharing drivers and passengers alike. This isn’t to malign these companies in any way, but it’s instead just meant to suggest that substantial industry growth can make any car crash ore likely to involve a ridesharing vehicle in some way. 

It has to be said that this growth is also happening rapidly, especially considering the fact that Lyft proudly celebrated its 500 millionth ride back in October of 2017. Only a year later, the company celebrated making one billion rides. Uber celebrated surpassing the 5 billion trip mark back in 2017. If the rideshare industry growth trends are any indicator, it may not be long before Lyft celebrates 10 billion trips. 

This change in transportation also correlates with a shift in personal injury law. Today, personal injury lawyers in New Jersey have to be familiar with the subtleties of protecting the legal rights of victims injured in rideshare crashes more than ever. It’s also extremely likely that the need for legal representation following a rideshare collision will almost certainly increase in the coming years. 

Uber & Lyft Accidents in New Jersey

While many celebrate the rideshare industry for making the roads safer, studies have found that may not actually be the case. According to recent studies, the popularity of the ridesharing industry correlates with a nearly 3 percent increase in roadway fatalities. That’s nearly 1,100 additional deaths each year attributable to ridesharing accidents. 

Being injured in a crash can take you off guard. When you’re injured while being driven by a rideshare driver, it can be even more shocking and unnerving. All drivers, including those working for ridesharing services, are vulnerable to being involved in a crash. Injured parties need to consult with a qualified New Jersey rideshare crash attorney. Brady, Brady, & Reilly, LLC is here to help you recover after an accident. Give us a call at (201) 997- 0030 to see how we can help.