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Associating Ridesourcing with Road Safety Outcomes Insights from Austin Texas

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Document pages: 24 pages

Abstract: Improving road safety and setting targets for reducing traffic-relatedcrashes and deaths are highlighted as part of the United Nation s sustainabledevelopment goals and vision zero efforts around the globe. The advent oftransportation network companies, such as ridesourcing, expands mobilityoptions in cities and may impact road safety outcomes. In this study, weanalyze the effects of ridesourcing use on road crashes, injuries, fatalities,and driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses in Travis County Texas. Ourapproach leverages real-time ridesourcing volume to explain variation in roadsafety outcomes. Spatial panel data models with fixed effects are deployed toexamine whether the use of ridesourcing is significantly associated with roadcrashes and other safety metrics. Our results suggest that for a 10 increasein ridesourcing trips, we expect a 0.12 decrease in road crashes (p<0.05), a0.25 decrease in road injuries (p<0.001), and a 0.36 decrease in DWI offenses(p<0.0001) in Travis County. Ridesourcing use is not associated with roadfatalities at a 0.05 significance level. This study augments existing workbecause it moves beyond binary indicators of ridesourcing presence or absenceand analyzes patterns within an urbanized area rather than metropolitan-levelvariation. Contributions include developing a data-rich approach for assessingthe impacts of ridesourcing use on our transportation system s safety, whichmay serve as a template for future analyses of other US cities. Our findingsprovide feedback to policymakers by clarifying associations betweenridesourcing use and traffic safety, while helping identify sets of actions toachieve safer and more efficient shared mobility systems.

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