Uber Sexual Assault Documented in First Ever Safety Report

Uber’s first ever safety report discloses 3,045 sexual assaults and nine murders in the US last year

Years ago, when I started thinking seriously about driving with Lyft and Uber I was concerned about my personal safety (but, as a man, not about sexual assaults). 

After all I would be inviting all kinds of people to ride in my car and driving all over Denver, Colorado… including parts of the city I would likely never see in my personal driving.

A friend of mine had been completing Uber trips for a few months, I asked him about his passengers and specifically if he put a briefcase or something in the front passenger seat to communicate that he’d prefer people sit in the back.  [I’d seen taxi drivers with various items on the front seat that had to be moved when my group had four passengers.]

My question was as much about my personal safety as it was about my basic emotional stress thinking about sharing my car with strangers.

As my regular readers know I’ve been researching and following news articles covering the rideshare driving industry for over 4 years and I’ve seen lots of news articles about bad things happening during Lyft and Uber passenger trips... but unlike this Uber safety report the articles were almost always about a single incident without providing a wider view.

Obviously bad things happen in the world… cars crash, people are assaulted, and of course people die… it happens every day… right?

As the headlines made clear (including the source report from Uber) this is the first of it’s kind report from Uber.  

 

Sexual Assaults Documented in First Ever Uber Safety Report

Uber posted the US Safety Report on the Company’s public website

I doubt many people read the actual report released by Uber… most of us just saw the headlines like the one referenced for this blog…

In response to Uber releasing their safety report there was no shortage of dire-sounding headlines:

 

  • Uber Releases First Safety Report Disclosing Thousands of Sexual Assaults
  • Uber Report: Nearly 6,000 Reports Of Sexual Assault Over 2 Years
  • Uber safety report: 9 murders, 58 crash deaths, and 3,045 sexual assaults

And of course, the headline connected to the article referenced for this blog post:

 

Uber’s first ever safety report discloses 3,045 sexual assaults and nine murders in the US last year

 

Sounds really bad!  Thousands of sexual assaults; 58 crash deaths; and 9 murders!

When something bad happens to a friend, loved one, family member, or more personally to you or me… nothing anyone can say will put the incident in perspective and somehow make the aftermath of the incident seem better… it’s very real to us. 

The fact that almost no one experiences these incidents is meaningless because this time it happened to us.

 

 

Are You Waiting For an Uber?

Over a year ago one of my passengers shared a story where a female driver picked him up outside of a nightclub. 

My passenger telling the story was honest that he’d been drinking more than a little… and when he exited the club a vehicle pulled up and the driver said: “Are you waiting for an Uber?”

He said “Yes,” and the female driver said: “Cool, get in.”

Once he was in her car the driver asked him for his destination… he told me: “Looking back I know that should have been a warning sign… but again I was more than a little drunk and…”

Anyway… when they arrived at his home the driver said: “Okay, that will be $25.”

He said: “I thought you were my Uber?”

She said: “I never said I was your Uber…”

And she didn’t… she said: “Are you waiting for an Uber…”

I asked him if he gave her cash… he dodged the question and did not give me an answer… I think we all know this means yes… he gave her some cash.

I love this story because it helped me understand not everyone pretending to be an Uber or Lyft driver is a predator… for whatever reason some people aren’t bothering to sign up to be official rideshare drivers just getting out on the road trying to earn some cash.

So, nothing “bad” happened in this story… but for some passengers their rideshare trip story does not have a happy (or at least funny) ending.

 

Sometimes Bad Things Happen

The referenced article attempts to help us put the data from Uber safety report into perspective:

 

“Uber says users took 3.1 million trips per day on the its platform during the period between 2017 and the end of 2018 in which it was gathering data, and there were also 1.3 billion trips in total in the US last year. Uber [for comparison] says there were 36,000 auto-related deaths in 2018 and 20,000 homicides in 2017…”

 

That makes some sense to me… Uber is attempting to help us understand that in the big picture of all Uber passenger trips “bad” things rarely happen.

Still… I’m left thinking bad things sometimes happen connected to rideshare transportation services and maybe we’d all be better off if we never took an Uber trip as a passenger or completed one as a driver?

Again, from the referenced article:

 

“The numbers are jarring and hard to digest,” [Tony West, Uber’s chief legal officer, told The New York Times.] “What it says is that Uber is a reflection of the society it serves.”

 

[Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi also released a statement publicly on Twitter saying he]

 

“Suspects many people will be surprised at how rare these incidents are; others will understandably think they’re still too common.” [He goes on to say] “They will all be right.”

 

So, I guess I’m right… but not about rideshare transportation not being safe… or rideshare transportation always being safe… I’m right that bad things sometimes happen when we get out in the world. 

Sure, we’d all be safer holed up in our houses, but I need to earn income to pay my bills and passengers need to get where they are going when they either don’t have an available vehicle or for whatever reason don’t want to drive themselves.

So, I guess Uber’s safety report doesn’t really change anything for me…

I’ll still be out completing passenger trips and I’ll still be doing what I do to protect my safety and help my passengers feel safe when travelling in my car.

In my book How to Be a Lyft and Uber Driver – The Unofficial Driver’s Manual, I cover everything drivers need to know to be safe; have zero stress; and earn the most possible income.

If you’re still on the fence wondering if you can earn enough income to make rideshare driving worth your time and effort then download a free copy of my Rideshare Earnings Case Study and you’ll see my daily and weekly income in easy to follow spreadsheets.

Until next time drivers and passengers… be safe out there and remember that the likelihood of physical or sexual assault is low whether you are, or aren’t, an Uber driver.

Uber’s first ever safety report discloses 3,045 sexual assaults and nine murders in the US last year

https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/5/20997939/uber-safety-report-2018-sexual-assault-ride-hailing-platform-stats

Uber Sexual Assault Documented in First Ever Safety Report