The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced the release of the "You the Man" iPhone app to reduce drunk driving by giving New Yorkers safe choices for getting home after a night on the town. The app's find-a-ride feature uses the iPhone's GPS to identify the closest Taxi and Limousine Commission-registered car services no matter where users are in the five boroughs, making it particularly useful in areas where taxis can be hard to find late at night. The app also locates the nearest subway stations to help plot a safe route home from any bar, restaurant or party citywide. "You the Man" is DOT's first-ever iPhone app and is part of the agency's ongoing efforts to make New York City's streets even safer.
"Calling a car service is the kind of drunk dialing that New Yorkers won't regret the next morning," said Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. "The technology in the 'You the Man' app knows exactly where you are, even if you don't, and it provides practical, safe options for getting home for people who decide to drink."
The app is available for free in the iTunes store and works within the five boroughs. The app also features games, including a "spin the bottle" designated driver selector game and a blood alcohol calculator, intended to raise awareness of the effects of even a few drinks on a person's ability to drive. The find-a-ride feature and other information are also available at www.YouTheManNYC.org. As part of the ongoing "You the Man" campaign, DOT will be conducting anti-DWI outreach at 12 colleges over the next month to educate students about the dangers of drunk driving and encourage them to take advantage of this free app. If the app proves popular, DOT will explore creating a version for Android phones as well.
"You the Man" is part of DOT's ongoing effort to make New York City's streets safer for everyone, and the campaign specifically targets young men ages 21-39, who were responsible for 63% of alcohol-related crashes in New York City in 2008. Last month, Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Sadik-Khan released the Pedestrian Safety Study and Action Plan, which examined 7,000 crashes involving pedestrians to learn what the contributing factors are and what steps the City can take to reduce the number of crashes. The analysis found that driver inattention was the cause of nearly 36% of crashes that resulted in pedestrian injuries or fatalities. The study also determined that alcohol makes crashes more dangerous, with pedestrian crashes that involved drivers under the influence of alcohol more than twice as likely to result in a fatality.
Under the Action Plan, the City uses a three-pronged approach to road safety: engineering, enforcement and education. Targeted marketing like "You the Man" complements DOT's other efforts, such as reengineering 60 miles of City streets every year, to bring the City closer to the goal of cutting the number of traffic fatalities in half by 2030, compared to 2007 statistics. For more information please visit www.nyc.gov/dot.