By Tracey Lien

Los Angeles Times

The introduction of low-cost on-demand transportation like UberX, Lyft and Sidecar could reduce the rate of drunken driving-related deaths by as much as 3.6 percent, according to new independent research at Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

The study is based on data from the California Highway Patrol about alcohol-related vehicular fatalities from 540 townships in California from January 2009 through September 2014. The Temple researchers, Brad Greenwood and Sunil Wattal, will present their findings at the Academy of Management’s annual meeting in August.

The research found that the introduction of more expensive transportation services like Uber had little effect on alcohol-related fatalities, but the introduction of Uber’s cheaper service, UberX, made a noticeable difference. When the researchers factored in competitors like Lyft and Sidecar, which offer similarly priced services, “the results were actually stronger,” Greenwood said.