Uber journeys are getting safer, with the firm reporting far fewer sexual assaults in 2019 and 2020 as in comparison with earlier years. But the variety of visitors deaths throughout Uber rides is rising, reflecting the more and more harmful circumstances on US roads.
Uber stated 3,824 sexual assaults occurred throughout journeys in 2019 and 2020, a 38 p.c drop from the 2017–2018 report, which logged 5,981 assaults. The lower may very well be associated to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in an 80 p.c drop in Uber’s ride-hailing enterprise throughout 2020. Still, Uber says the overwhelming majority of journeys, 99.9 p.c, happen with no security incident.
Uber says that 20 folks had been killed in bodily assaults in 2019 and 2020, an 18 p.c enhance in comparison with the final report. Among the deaths, 15 had been riders and 5 had been drivers. And, of the 15 rider fatalities, 12 had been killed by a 3rd celebration or one other rider. (An Uber spokesperson didn’t reply to questions on the remaining three deaths.)
There had been 101 visitors fatalities throughout Uber’s platform in 2019 and 2020, together with 14 drivers and 19 riders. The remaining folks killed had been different automobile occupants, motorcyclists, or pedestrians. Notably, there have been 23 pedestrians and three bicyclists or scooter riders killed by Uber automobiles. The firm makes use of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s methodology and knowledge standardization to evaluate automobile crashes and fatalities.
Uber says that visitors fatalities per automobile mile traveled elevated 7 p.c between the two reported timeframes but that the firm’s fatality charge was nonetheless half the nationwide common. More than half of the deaths had been associated to dangerous driving behaviors, reminiscent of drunk driving, lack of seat belts, or rushing, the firm stated. And 94 p.c of the deaths had been the results of a third-party driver.
Traffic deaths are skyrocketing throughout the nation, with the authorities reporting that 2021 was the bloodiest 12 months in a long time. NHTSA tasks that 42,915 folks died in motorized vehicle visitors crashes final 12 months, a ten.5 p.c enhance from the 38,824 fatalities in 2020 and the highest quantity since 2005. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has known as it a “crisis on America’s roadways.”
In an announcement, Uber’s chief authorized officer Tony West stated that whereas Uber was getting safer, “behind every data point is a personal experience, and sometimes pain and loss, that must be acknowledged.” He additionally touted Uber’s dedication to being clear about the incidents that happen in its automobiles.
“To be clear, disclosing our safety data doesn’t mean Uber’s platform is less safe—it means we’re being more honest about the rare safety incidents that do occur,” West stated. “Most companies won’t talk about these tough issues, but pretending they don’t exist only leaves everyone less safe.”
Over the years, Uber has confronted quite a few lawsuits concerning assault that happens on the platform. A lady from Washington, DC, sued the firm in 2019 for negligence and shopper safety violations after she was sexually assaulted by a driver. A lady in India, who says she was raped by an Uber driver in 2014, sued Uber in 2017 following an Uber govt’s resolution to illegally disclose elements of her medical information to different Uber staff, together with then-CEO Travis Kalanick.
Uber and Lyft each conduct background checks and say passenger security is their prime precedence. They even have largely tried to deal with this concern via expertise updates, like in-app “panic buttons,” which let riders immediately dial 911, or methods to report a driver for unsafe exercise.
In 2021, the firms joined collectively to announce a “first-of-its-kind” effort to share details about drivers who had been deactivated for committing critical offenses, together with bodily and sexual assault and homicide. Drivers are categorized as impartial contractors, not staff, which means they’ll — and continuously do — drive for each firms.
Lyft launched its first security report final 12 months wherein it stated 10 folks had been killed in bodily altercations and over 4,000 folks had been assaulted from 2017–2019.
The concern of security throughout ride-sharing journeys has caught the consideration of Democrats in the US Senate, who wrote a letter to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi final month requesting extra details about employee security on the job.