A recent CNN Business article illustrates the sheer volume of sexual assault incidents recorded in Uber’s 2020 safety report. Despite the fact that the platform’s rider numbers plummeted in 2020, Uber reports 998 sexual assault incidents including 141 reports of rape. According to Uber, 91% of rape victims were riders and 81% of the victims were women.
This is the second safety report released by Uber and covers 2019 and 2020. The 78-page report shows that during this time period, Uber received 3,824 reports of the five most severe categories of sexual assault. These categories range from “non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part” to “non-consensual sexual penetration,” or what is commonly known as rape.
Between 2019 and 2020, total trips in the US fell from 1.4 billion trips in 2019 to 650 million in 2020. In line with the fall in rider numbers, 2020 saw a corresponding decline in rape reports compared to 2019, when 247 rapes were reported. Besides the reported sexual assaults, 20 fatalities were the result of physical assaults for the two-years covered in the report, 15 of which were riders. Uber-related crashes accounted for 101 motor vehicle fatalities.
Uber claims that part of the reason for the decline in sexual assaults is due to their updated background check system, which continuously checks a rider’s records for new criminal offense reports. The company says in the new report that to date, this feature accounts for more than 80,000 drivers being removed from the platform. Besides updating their background check system, Uber has also launched a partnership with a RapidSOS. When a when a rider uses the emergency button in the Uber app, RapidSOS sends a rider’s location and relevant information to local police.
While Uber has certainly made strides towards improving rider safety, the simple fact remains that one sexual assault on the platform is one too many. Our team of rider safety advocates will continue to fight for justice on behalf of those who have suffered life changing trauma by the predators that use platforms such as Uber and Lyft to sexually assault passengers. If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted by an Uber or Lyft driver, we have your back. We can maintain your anonymity and pursue justice on your behalf. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support you during this difficult time.