Background: An emergent group of studies have examined the extent under which ridesharing may decrease alcohol-related crashes in countries such as United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, and Chile. Virtually all existent studies have assumed that ridesharing is equally distributed across socioeconomic groups, potentially masking differences across them. We contribute to this literature by studying how socioeconomic status at the municipal level impacts Uber’s effect on alcohol-related crashes. Methods: We use data provided by Chile’s Road Safety Commission considering all alcohol-related crashes, and fatal and severe alcohol-related injuries that occurred between January 2013 and September 2013 (before Uber) and January and September 2014 (with Uber) in Santiago. We first apply spatial autocorrelation techniques to examine the level of spatial dependence between the location of alcohol-related crashes with and without Uber. We then apply random-effects meta-analysis to obtain risk ratios of alcohol-related crashes by considering socioeconomic municipality differences before and after the introduction of Uber. Results: In both analyses, we find that the first 9 months of Uber in Santiago is associated with significant rate ratio decreases (RR = 0.71 [95% Confidence Interval (C.I.) 0.56, 0.89]) in high socioeconomic municipalities in all alcohol-related crashes and null (RR = 1.10 [95% C.I. 0.97, 1.23]) increases in low socioeconomic municipalities. No concomitant associations were observed in fatal alcohol-related crashes regardless of the socioeconomic municipality group. Conclusions: One interpretation for the decline in alcohol-related crashes in high socioeconomic municipalities is that Uber may be a substitute form of transport for those individuals who have access to credit cards, and thus, could afford to pay for this service at the time they have consumed alcohol. Slight increases of alcohol-related crashes in low socioeconomic municipalities should be studied further since this could be related to different phenomena such as increases in alcohol sales and consumption, less access to the provision of public transport services in these jurisdictions, or biases in police reports.
- Road safety
- Socioeconomic groups
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health