The biggest safety argument in favor of Ride$hare:
Official 2012 Crash Statistics:
Nationally: 33,561 killed, 2,362,000 injured
Massachusetts: 349 killed, 24,562 (extrapolated) injured
Berkshire County had exactly 2.00% of the population of the state in the last census. That would translate into 7 deaths and 491 injuries in 2012 if Berkshire County had an average fatality rate. However, Berkshire County’s fatality rate, by population, was almost twice the Massachusetts average.
Safety argument for Ride$hare: Because motor vehicle-caused deaths and injuries (including to pedestrians and cyclists) are directly correlated with vehicle miles, any reduction in vehicle miles due to “spontaneous carpooling” will increase traffic safety. If Ride$hare is successful in being massively adopted, it could cut the vehicles on the road by, say, 20%, which could save 2-3 lives and about 175 injuries a year in Berkshire County. Contrasted to the zero incidence of crime over many years in HOV-related stranger-to-stranger carpooling in San Francisco, Houston, and DC, and even allowing for the possibility of an occasional incident involving Ride$hare, it is clear that Ride$hare would reduce overall risk to citizens by a statistically significant amount. (Just an educated guess, but the decrease in accident victims would probably be at least 100 times greater than the increase in crime victims.) And since teenagers and young adults are at greater risk of being involved in traffic accidents than the general population, they would benefit even more from Ride$hare’s risk reduction effect.