DEAR MS.SMARTPHONE: I COMMUTE INTO SF AND I ALSO TAKE A LOT OF RIDESHARE TRIPS. THIS TIME OF YEAR THERE’S A LOT OF FOCUS ON DRIVING SOBER AND SAFELY. I’VE NOTICED THAT UBER AND LYFT DRIVERS SPEND A LOT OF TIME ON THEIR PHONE AND I SEE THEM CLICKING TO FIND NEW ROUTES, ADD AND DROP PASSENGERS, OR DO OTHER THINGS. IS IT MORE DANGEROUS TO TAKE A RIDESHARE BECAUSE THESE DRIVERS USE THEIR PHONES MORE? J.F. Fremont
Dear J.F: Phones, holidays, and cars all seem to roll together. That said, your question is a good one and I really don’t have an answer. I recently met with a researcher at the MIT Age Lab, and keeping eyes straight-ahead and glued to the road seems to be the benefit of having a hands-free, voice-activated car phone. But, that is compared with say holding a phone in your hand and also needing to take eyes off the road. I’ll re-post your question after I search around for more data on rideshare safety. Thanks for asking!