November 24, 2015 by Steven M. Gursten

Uber surge pricing

We’re all excited for family time and Thanksgiving.

I don’t mean to take the fun out of Thanksgiving, but it’s also important to remind ourselves that after News Year’s weekend, Thanksgiving weekend is the deadliest time of year for car accidents. That’s because there are so many drunk driving car crashes, and the drinking and driving is exacerbated by the night before Thanksgiving, deemed “the biggest bar night of the year” by college kids who come home and party with all of their friends.

For the past 20-plus years as a personal injury lawyer, I’ve seen the life-altering consequences that arise from the Wednesday through Saturday of Thanksgiving.

There will sadly certainly be catastrophic motor vehicle accidents caused by drunk drivers, and innocent people will be senselessly injured and killed throughout Michigan and the country in completely avoidable crashes, due to the deadly combination of poor driving judgment and alcohol. I’ve written in depth and appeared in local news on this issue, sharing tips for safe driving on Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Eve in years past.

Uber surge pricing: The better alternative to tragedy

No one likes surge pricing. It rubs a lot of people the wrong way. And after a few beers, I can easily see people refusing to take Uber because they feel like they are being gouged. I can’t guarantee whether there will be Uber surge pricing this holiday weekend, but there is a strong likelihood.

As a personal injury lawyer, I’d like to see Uber at least forgo surge pricing on holiday nights when there is so much alcohol and the potential for drinking and driving.

But at least they’re doing something to recognize the importance of safe rides, especially over the holidays. In metro Detroit, Uber is offering two free rides people who haven’t used the service before, with the promo code:


Believe it or not, there are still many people out there who are unfamiliar with Uber and similar ride sharing services like Lyft. Uber is a Smartphone app that connects passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire. Cars are reserved by sending a text message or by using the mobile app. Using the apps, customers can track their reserved car’s location. The company arranges pickups in many cities, including Detroit.

There are still plenty of taxis out there, too.

The good news is, car accident fatalities in Michigan over Thanksgiving holiday weekend were down in 2014. There were three in 2014, compared to a dozen in 2013, according to the Michigan State Police.

Could this decrease be due to services like Uber that make ride sharing more accessible? I suspect it is a factor. For now, a $100 ride on Uber with its expensive surge pricing is still far cheaper than a DUI after a drunken driving arrest. Let alone a life that is lost due to a completely preventable and tragic car accident.

Meanwhile, here are some tips to help you stay safe this weekend:

17 tips to prevent car accidents on Thanksgiving weekend

Is Uber liable if its driver causes an accident?

Our attorneys would like to ask readers to share their Uber stories – good or bad, to help others make an informed decision ahead of time.

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