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Contact (UPMC Health Plan):

Gina Pferdehirt
Director, Public Relations & Community Relations
UPMC Health Plan

UPMC Health Plan and Uber #purplecar Program Promotes Driving Without Distraction


PITTSBURGH (October 29, 2015) – To promote safe driving free of distractions, UPMC Health Plan is sponsoring free rides for Uber users in the Pittsburgh area beginning Nov. 1, 2015, as part of its #purplecar program.

In 2013, more than 3,000 people were killed and over 424,000 people were injured in vehicle crashes involving distracted driving.* The #purplecar program involves UPMC Health Plan and Uber, the technology company whose app connects riders and drivers, promotes awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.

Between Nov.1, 2015, and Nov. 15, 2015, new and existing Uber users will be able to request “#purplecar in-app” for a free ride up to $25, between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day. During the promotion, some users will be picked up by UPMC Health Plan-branded purple vehicles to get where they need to go safely and without distraction.

“When many people drive, all too often they are focused on other things,” said Stephen E. Perkins, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs for UPMC Health Plan. “#purplecar is a fun, visible way to call attention to a serious problem – distracted driving, especially among millennials.”

Millennials – generally considered persons ages 18 to 34 – are among those who often use Uber. A recent survey revealed that 59 percent of millennials also admitted to having texted while driving.

Uber is an app that allows users to request a ride on-demand right from their smartphones. The company, founded in 2010, operates in hundreds of cities across the country.

"We're excited to partner with UPMC Health Plan on our #purplecar promotion to encourage Pittsburghers to think twice about distracted driving," said Jennifer Krusius, general manager of Uber Pittsburgh. "This is an important issue and we’re proud to offer residents and visitors a safe, reliable, and affordable alternative at the touch of a button."

To request #purplecar, users in the Pittsburgh area can open the free Uber app, tap the profile icon in the top left corner, tap promotions, and enter the promo code found at upmchealthplan.com/uber. The offer is limited to one free ride per user up to $25.

Riders who take advantage of this offer are encouraged to share a photo with “#purplecar” on Twitter or Instagram and tag @upmchealthplan and @uber_PIT. 

*Source: www.distraction.gov/stats-research-laws/facts-and-statistics.html


About UPMC Health Plan

UPMC Health Plan, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., is among the nation’s fastest-growing health plans. It is owned by UPMC, a world-renowned health care provider. As part of an integrated health care delivery system, UPMC Health Plan is committed to providing its members better health, more financial security, and the peace of mind they deserve.  UPMC Health Plan partners with UPMC and community network providers to produce a combination of knowledge and expertise that provides the highest quality care at the most affordable price. The UPMC Insurance Services Division – which includes UPMC Health Plan, UPMC WorkPartners, LifeSolutions, UPMC for Life, UPMC for You, UPMC for Kids, Askesis, and Community Care Behavioral Health — offers a full range of group health insurance, Medicare, Special Needs, CHIP, Medical Assistance, behavioral health, employee assistance, and workers' compensation products and services to over 2.7 million members. Our local provider network includes UPMC as well as community providers, totaling more than 125 hospitals and more than 11,500 physicians throughout Pennsylvania and parts of Ohio, West Virginia, and Maryland. For more information, visit www.upmchealthplan.com.