At the beginning of this year no one could have predicted how our world would be disrupted or that our lives would be brought to a standstill. Over the last several months, Uber has continued to focus on our ongoing safety commitments to help support drivers and riders during this unprecedented time, including implementing a mandatory face covering policy and committing $50 million for health safety supplies health safety supplies for drivers and delivery people.
While we work to increase safety for ourselves and those around us, another concerning shift has developed on roadways — an increase in traffic fatality rates even as vehicle miles traveled have declined in recent months. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), there was a 23.5% increase in the rate of motor vehicle fatalities in April and May when compared to the same period as last year. Even with traffic volumes reduced by 40-50% in many cities, traffic fatality rates continue to climb.
To help address these core safety concerns during COVID that are on the rise during the pandemic Uber has convened a road safety coalition with road safety experts at the NSC, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and The League of American Bicyclists to develop safety tips and remind road users to avoid speeding, distractions and encourage them to buckle up — actions aimed to help keep themselves and other road users safe.
Return To The Road:
Whether a driver is taking a trip on the Uber platform or delivering with Eats, or a rider is riding with Uber or driving their own vehicle, we want everyone to be mindful of how to safely return to the road.
Throughout the year, we will continue to push education materials and remind drivers of technology built in the app to address roadway dangers, including driver hour limits, bike lane alerts and encourage all passengers to wear a seat belt.
In addition to launching our Return to the Road safety campaign, we are working with our advocate partners on education and awareness initiatives that aim to help create safer roads for all travelers and protect vulnerable road users on two-wheels.
Over the next few months, in partnership with the League of American Bicyclists, we are launching a condensed Bike-friendly Driver course. This course, which covers ways drivers can safely share the road with people on bikes including safe passing, navigating bike infrastructure, and knowledge of the rights of bicyclists, will be available to all drivers and four-wheel delivery partners across the US later this year. This work builds on our existing bike safety efforts, including Bike Lane Alerts feature and Dutch Reach education for car riders.
As safety experts have warned, the pandemic has had an impact on mental health and economic anxiety, and there is an increased risk of DUIs. We believe that it’s crucial to help bring awareness to riders about the importance of having a designated driver and avoid getting behind the wheel if impaired. We are proud to partner with MADD again this year and work together to remind everyone to avoid drinking and driving, and we will be doubling down on this effort as we lead into the fall and holiday season.
While the pandemic has changed the way we travel, we remain committed to helping protect the health and safety of riders, drivers and delivery people while out on the roads.
# # #