Completed 2018 Research Project

Shared Mobility Services and Their Connection to Roadway Fatalities

Principal Investigator
Noreen McDonald
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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Tabitha Combs
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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Full Report

Project Slide Deck

Research Brief


We use RideAustin OD trips to examine the effect of ridesourcing exposure on road safety outcomes, such as road crashes, injuries, fatalities, and DWI offenses. Spatial fixed effects panel data models are employed to establish that RideAustin use is significantly associated with a decrease in total road crashes, injuries, and DWI offenses in Travis County, Texas. On the contrary, our findings do not demonstrate significant relationships between ridesourcing use and road fatalities. Given the significant costs associated with road safety outcomes and DWI offenses [57], ridesourcing services can be a low-cost option that could assist cities and counties with meeting goals for road injuries and DWI offenses decrease. At the same time, the magnitude of the road safety externalities reduction associated with ridesourcing trips is smaller compared to the effectiveness that has been documented after the application of other interventions, including seatbelt laws, reduced speeds, and traffic calming design. This outlines the need for determining population segments that ridesourcing-related solutions or policies could be more impactful for improving road safety, like focusing on younger ridesourcing demographics).

Our analysis augments existing work in this field by accounting for spatial distributions of ridesourcing use, road safety outcomes, and other socio-economic characteristics in the given region. Instead of testing associations of the launch of ridesourcing with road injuries and the rest of safety outcomes, we account for spatio-temporal characteristics and capture actual ridesourcing use via real-time trip data analytics in Travis County. The spatial panel data modeling outcomes show that spatial dependence is of significance. Thus, granular longitudinal travel, road safety, and socio-demographic panel data can provide transportation and traffic safety agencies that opportunity to uncover associations and plan for appropriate safety interventions.


Project Details

Project Type: Research
Project Status: Completed
Start Date: 3-1-2018
End Date: 12-31-2019
Contract Year: Year 2
Total Funding from CSCRS: $65,128