Apps are entertaining. With them you can listen to music, play games with angry birds, solve puzzles in exotic temples, stream movies and television shows, and enjoy that sweet sense of victory when candy gets crushed. Apps are also educational. Math problems, trivia bets, and dinner table arguments are solved with a few thumb taps, or even with just a spoken question. Apps solve problems. They get us home when we’re lost. They educate us about world events. They help us keep schedules and receipts and memories. They help us with our flash storage needs. They can do almost anything you want.
Some apps even save lives. Some teach CPR, others recommend healthy alternatives at restaurants, and then there’s Uber, an app that statistics show literally makes streets safer all over the world.
Uber is your “cashless and convenient private driver in more than 50 countries,” an “entirely new and modern way to travel.” This free, innovative app connects users instantly with a driver (a driver of a car, the captain of a boat, and even the pilot of a helicopter!). With it you can easily set up a pick up location and a drop off point, compare driver rates, and then pay with a credit card or PayPal by using your mobile phone. No longer do you have to wait for what seems like forever to find a taxi. We’ve all watched impatient drunks outside of bars give up on finding a taxi and risk driving themselves. Uber’s speedy service keeps that from happening. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, almost 90% of Uber rides arrived in less than ten minutes. No longer do you have to carry cash around when you go out with your friends and family. No longer are you stuck with the first driver who happens to show up. Plus you can easily split the fare with a friend without quarreling over pennies. And, if you want to ride around in style, you can choose an SUV or luxury vehicle. Uber gives you full control over your transportation needs.
Uber-enabled cities like Chicago, Athens, Vienna, Tokyo, Casablanca, Honolulu, and Rio de Janeiro are seeing this app’s effects reflected in the DUI rates (Driving Under the Influence). Over half of the United States has access to Uber services as of 2015. Seattle, Washington and San Francisco, California, for example, are seeing up to a 10% decrease in drivers driving under the influence. That means 10% fewer accidents, fewer injuries, and fewer fatalities. Uber is rapidly approaching the bragging right of decreasing the number of DUIs by one every day. MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) has conducted their own studies and they agree that when intoxicated individuals are “empowered” with quick, easy transportation options such as Uber, they take advantage of them. That makes the roads safer for everybody.
The rideshare industry is saving precious gas as well. San Francisco’s innovative carpooling partnership, UberPOOL, saves over 13,000 gallons of fuel every month. Additionally, anecdotal evidence suggests that Uber has a direct impact on reducing traffic jams. Carpooling decreases the number of vehicles participating in rush-hour traffic, and airport pick up and drop off points are less busy as well. The top ten Uber destinations are all airports (including LAX, the Los Angeles International Airport and New York airports LaGuardia and JFK). They have Uber to thank for happier customers.
If you live in an “Uber City,” you too can be part of the safety statistics either as a passenger, a driver, or both (Uber employs over 160,000 drivers). The DUI statistics prove that your life, or the life of a friend or family member could possibly be saved, all thanks to a little app on your smart phone called Uber.