Millions of rideshare trips occur every day in the U.S. However, companies Uber and Lyft have come under fire for their shortcomings with regard to safety and sexual assault incidents. Months after several lawsuits were filed against Lyft, Uber released a first-of-its-kind safety report. The report shares data about “critical safety incidents” on Uber’s platform and its processes for addressing those incidents.

Uber Sexual Assault Statistics

Uber’s app allows users to seek help for an assortment of issues, ranging from finding lost items to reporting a safety issue. By tapping through the options on the app, users are then able to submit a support request to Uber.

Shown below, the three categories for reporting a safety issue are: being in an accident, riding with a driver who drove dangerously, and feeling unsafe due to the driver’s behavior.

In the report, Uber provides facts and figures with regard to incidents of sexual assault in 2017 and 2018. In general, over the course of those two years:

  • 4% of trips involved a support request of any kind.
  • 1% of trips involved a support request for a safety-related concern.
  • 0003% of trips involved a report of a critical safety incident (motor vehicle fatality, fatal physical assault, or sexual assault).

These figures may seem like small numbers at first glance. However, with 2.3 billion Uber trips in the United States during 2017 and 2018, the statistics equate to the following:

  • 32 million+ trips involved a support request of any kind.
  • 3 million trips involved a support request for a safety-related concern.
  • 6,900 trips involved a report of a critical safety incident.

Uber categorized sexual assault as follows: non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part, attempted non-consensual sexual penetration, non-consensual touching of a sexual body part, non-consensual kissing of a sexual body part, non-consensual sexual penetration. In total, there were nearly 6,000 sexual assault incidents in 2017 and 2018. The table below shows the number of incidences in these categories.

Both riders and drivers have reported sexual assault incidents to Uber.

How Uber Addresses Sexual Assault Reports

Uber emphasizes the importance of hearing from everyone involved after a safety incident is reported. A safety support agent first identifies the accused party’s Uber account and temporarily removes their access. Uber then ensures the same driver and rider are not paired again, regardless of the outcome of the case review. The report notes that “further action” depends on what the review finds.

Background Checks for Uber Drivers

Uber refers to its background-check process as “very rigorous.” The company disqualifies anyone with a felony conviction or certain criminal convictions (such as sexual assault, kidnapping, and murder) in the last seven years. While more than one million driver applications did not make it through Uber’s screening process in 2017 and 2018, most were disqualified before advancing to the criminal background check.

CaseyGerry attorney, Jillian F. Hayes has successfully represented numerous sexual assault victims and understands the complexities of these types of cases. If you or someone you know was assaulted upon using the Uber or Lyft platforms, we welcome you to contact our firm for a free, confidential, and no-obligation consultation.

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