Alcohol-related motor vehicle collisions (AR-MVCs) account for ~30% of all US traffic fatalities. Ride-sharing services (RSS) have existed since 2010, but few studies to date have investigated their impact on AR-MVCs. We hypothesized that the availability of RSS would be correlated with a decrease in AR-MVCs at an urban Level I trauma center.
A retrospective chart review was conducted of all AR-MVC trauma activations at a Level I trauma center from 2012 to 2018. Additional data were gathered from regional governmental traffic and law enforcement databases, including crash incidence, fatalities, and demographics. Data were compared pre- and post-RSS and analyzed using an unpaired t test with p less than 0.05 considered significant.
There were 1,474 patients in AR-MVCs during the study period. There was a significant decrease in the annual average proportion of MVCs that were AR-MVCs pre- vs. post-RSS (39% vs. 29%, p = 0.02) as well as a decrease in the average annual incidence of fatal AR-MVCs (11.6 vs. 5, p = 0.02). Subset analysis showed a decrease in AR-MVC incidence in 18- to 29-year-olds (12.7% vs. 7.5%; p = 0.03), which was also demonstrated by data from a local law enforcement database. Availability of RSS was also correlated with a decreased proportion of nighttime AR-MVCs (14.7% vs. 7.6%, p = 0.03) and decreased number of driving while intoxicated (1198.0 ± 78.5 vs. 612.8 ± 137.6, p = <0.01).
We found that the incidence of both total AR-MVCs and fatal AR-MVCs presenting to our trauma center decreased after the introduction of RSS. Ride-sharing services may play a role in preventing AR-MVCs. Further research is needed to correlate AR-MVC incidence with granular proprietary RSS usage data and to account for any confounding factors. Future studies may identify ways to better utilize RSS availability as a targeted intervention for certain demographic groups to prevent AR-MVCs.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE
Therapeutic/Care Management, Level IV.