Ride-Sharing, Fatal Crashes, and Crime

30 Pages Posted: 24 May 2016 Last revised: 8 May 2017

Angela K. Dills

Western Carolina University

Sean E. Mulholland

Western Carolina University

Date Written: February 13, 2017


The advent of smart-phone based, ride-sharing applications has revolutionized the vehicle for hire market. Advocates point to the ease of use and lower wait times compared to hailing a taxi or pre-arranging limousine service. Others argue that proper government oversight is necessary to protect ride-share passengers from driver error or vehicle part failure and violence from unlicensed strangers. Using U.S. county-level data from 2007 through 2014, we investigate whether the introduction of the ride-sharing service, Uber, is associated with changes in fatal vehicle crashes and crime. We find that Uber’s entry lowers the rate of DUIs and fatal accidents. For most specifications, we also find declines in arrests for assault and disorderly conduct. Conversely, we observe an increase in vehicle thefts.

Keywords: Ride-Sharing, Uber, Crashes, Crime, Traffic fatalities

JEL Classification: R41, K42, D45

Suggested Citation

Dills, Angela K. and Mulholland, Sean E., Ride-Sharing, Fatal Crashes, and Crime (February 13, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2783797

Angela K. Dills

Western Carolina University ( email )

Cullowhee, NC 28723
United States
8282273329 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.wcu.edu/akdills

Sean E. Mulholland (Contact Author)

Western Carolina University ( email )

United States

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.wcu.edu/semulholland/

Paper statistics

Abstract Views