As the winter season goes into full swing, driving becomes more dangerous and drivers more prone to accidents. It is dark and the weather may be inclement, and both conditions known to increase accidents. In addition, many winter holiday parties like Christmas and New Year’s involve drinking, and sometimes heavy drinking. The safety of drivers, passengers, and other travelers is decreased according to the alcohol involved.
This winter, however, there is a pilot program that may bring good news about traffic safety. The New Jersey town of Evesham is taking part in a pilot program with the driver service Uber in which people who have had too much to drink can access an app on their phone that will call a Uber car to drive them home. If used widely, it could cut down drastically on drunk driving—and therefore car accidents.
Evesham took part in a pilot program with the app that indicated the effects could be significant. According to a New York Times article, extrapolating from monthly statistics, “Evesham had been on track to reach 250 DUI arrests in 2015, a record for the town.” During the month-long pilot program in September, however, driving under the influence arrests dropped to 8 versus the January to August monthly average of 23—a decline of almost two-thirds.
Nineteen restaurants and bars in the town are participating. The app can be accessed from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. every night, and the program will be running through the New Year. It may be rolled out to other towns if it is successful.