Ride-Hailing and Road Traffic Crashes: A Critical Review

Christopher N. Morrison, David S. Kirk, Noli B. Brazil, David K. Humphreys

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Ride-hailing businesses, including Uber and Lyft, have reshaped road traffic since they first began operating in the United States approximately a decade ago. It follows that ride-hailing may also alter the incidence and distribution of road traffic crash injuries and deaths. The available evidence relating ride-hailing to crashes is critically reviewed in this article. We present a theoretical model that synthesizes the hypothesized mechanisms, and we identify common methodological challenges and suggest priorities for future research. Mixed results have been reported for the overall incidence of road traffic crash injuries and deaths, likely due to heterogeneous impacts on vehicular traffic flow (e.g., increasing the volume of vehicles); on vehicle-, person-, and event-level characteristics (e.g., reducing alcohol-impaired driver crashes); on road-user types (e.g., increasing pedestrian crashes); and on environmental conditions (e.g., reducing crashes most substantially where public transit access is poorest). The lack of a well-developed theory of human mobility and methodological challenges that are common to many ecological studies impede exploration of these sources of moderation. Innovative solutions are required to explicate ride-hailing's heterogeneous impacts, to guide policy that can take advantage of the public health benefits of ride-hailing, and to ensure that research keeps pace with technological advances that continue to reshape road traffic use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-758
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


  • accidents, traffic
  • bicycling
  • distracted driving
  • driving under the influence
  • land travel
  • motor vehicles
  • pedestrians

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