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Older Americans now rely on alternative transportation

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Older Americans now rely on alternative transportation

California is home to tech companies that helped to revolutionize the transportation industry, from Tesla to Uber. For years, millennials were known as the most common rideshare users. This was due in part to statistics showing that many waited until later in life to get their license or purchase a car. Those who lived in big cities, such as Los Angeles and New York City often opted out of both.

The AAA Foundation now shows that older share riders have entered the market. The study published by the organization shows that older adults use alternative methods of transportation to maintain mobility. To be clear, this includes not just rideshare services but also buses, trains, regular taxis and carpooling with family members.

Some people may look at the data and wonder if this helps to keep road users safe. Some seniors continue to drive for years with no incidents. For others, hearing impairments, failing vision, a cocktail of prescription medications and slowed reflexes may increase the risks of causing a crash. So, it seems only fair to assume that ridesharing and other alternative methods help to keep people safe.

Still, Forbes suggests otherwise. It states that road deaths may have actually increased because of Lyft, Uber and other rideshare companies. It reports that accidents involving fatalities continue to rise by 2% to 4% each year. This results from more cars on the street. One reason for this may be the increase in people joining the gig economy by getting into ridesharing. These drivers also often operate their vehicles while distracted by their GPS and other indicators on their phones to know where to go and who to pick up.

Over the years, the rideshare companies have continued to deny findings that they contribute to traffic congestion or road deaths. Instead, for the most part, they maintain that their services lead to the opposite effect.

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