450 cases of rape reported, Uber safety report shows

Andrew Cummings
December 6, 2019

The company also said Uber rides were involved in 58 traffic fatalities. We are partnering with RAINN, the nation's largest sexual violence organization, to design and implement this program.

According to the report, Uber is continuing to develop additional features to ensure both the rider and driver have an enjoyable and safe experience, including a verification PIN code, a feature to send a text message directly to 911 operators and reporting incidents to the company before the trip ends.

These incidents represent just a fraction of the more than 1.3bn rides Uber facilitated in the United States in the past year, but they come at a time when the company is increasingly under scrutiny for worker and rider safety conditions. In May of this year, Uber announced that it would ban drivers with low ratings in an effort to increase accountability.

Aside from sexual assaults, Uber also disclosed data on fatal crashes and assaults.

Lyft said previous year it would also release a safety report.

Uber and competitor Lyft have faced a backlash for not doing enough to protect the safety of its riders and drivers.

More than 20 workers from the division, known as the Special Investigations Unit, said it is designed primarily to shelter the company from legal responsibility and quietly resolve serious allegations to avoid press or regulatory scrutiny.

Scarce outside data on sexual assaults or deactivations at Uber exist.

Mr Bomberger advocates the systematic recording of rides so drivers know they are being watched, better cooperation with authorities and better driver background checks. More than 1,100 of the almost 70,000 active registered drivers in the city were barred for matters of safety during that time, according to the data, which showed that drug use or possession and traffic accidents ranked after sexual misconduct as the top reasons for a driver being blocked. Despite the slightly-heightened numbers, statistics provided in the report show that the rate of serious sexual assault decreased over the two-year-span, with the average rate across the five categories falling 16%.

Uber based its numbers on reported assaults from riders and drivers, noting the actual numbers could be higher.

Uber has made made safety changes as attention has been drawn to safety issues.

Since 2017 the company has tripled the size of its safety team, and has added a new "In-App Emergency Button" safety feature. Meanwhile, Uber has given riders the option report uncomfortable interactions, such as invasive questioning or erratic driving, directly to safety specialists.

Rival Lyft Inc in a statement said it was committed to releasing its own safety report and sharing information on unsafe drivers. "But truthfully, this was a decision we struggled to make, in part because data on safety and sexual assaults is sparse and inconsistent". In its report, it said one million drivers failed to pass the screening test in 2017 and 2018 and more than 40,000 were removed from the app after extra screening layers. "But we decided we can't let all of that hold us back".

Other reports by iNewsToday