As ride-sharing apps become more popular across the United States, some people are starting to order an Uber or Lyft when they need immediate medical attention, instead of calling for emergency medical services.
What is causing Americans to call for an Uber driver instead of an ambulance when they need to go to the emergency room?
Study Says Uber Reduces Ambulance Usage
A paper published in December 2017 examined ambulance usage rates in 766 U.S. cities and 43 states after Uber entered their markets from 2013 to 2015.
Why Do People Choose Rideshare Services Over Ambulances?
There are many reasons that Americans are starting to choose rideshare services over calling an ambulance when they need medical attention.
Some of these reasons are:
- Rising health care costs
- Lack of health insurance
- Traffic and response times
- Cost of services
But there are also downsides to calling a rideshare service. If you call an Uber or Lyft driver instead of an ambulance, you are likely to be driven by an untrained, self-employed person who is driving their own car on a part-time basis. You are not being driven by EMTs who can help you in the event of any medical emergency.
If you choose to take a rideshare service when you need to go to the emergency room, you are also putting your driver in an uncomfortable position. They are forced to choose between assuming potential liability if something goes wrong or dealing with guilt and the fear of a bad rating if they decline or cancel the ride.
The co-authors of the study, David Slusky, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Kansas, and Dr. Leon Moskatel, an internist at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, said that they conducted their study to attempt to explain a decline in the need for ambulance services where rideshare services have entered the market.
The study concluded that when ride-sharing services entered a market, ambulance usage rate dropped significantly. Using different methodologies to obtain the “most conservative” decline in ambulance ride rate, the research concluded that ride-hailing services cause a decline of at least 7 percent.
Moskatel told the Mercury News, “My guess is it will go up a little bit and stabilize at 10 to 15 percent as Uber continues to expand as an alternative for people.”
Experienced Las Vegas Rideshare Lawyers
As rideshare services become more common, so do the amount of accidents that involve them. If you have been in a car accident involving a rideshare service, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you protect your rights.