Uber Safety Report Says Sexual Assaults Declined, But Road Deaths Increased

Uber said in a safety report Thursday that sexual assaults on its vehicles have dropped significantly since its launch. last report but that the number of fatal car crashes has increased.

The company said that 3,824 sexual assaults were reported on its platform in the US in 2019 and 2020, while 20 people died in attacks and 101 people died in accidents.

The report was a follow-up to the original Uber report that was published in 2019. The company has committed to publishing reports every two years, but it says the new review has been delayed due to a pandemic-related delay in 2020 data. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Uber uses the agency’s methodology and data standards to analyze fatal crashes.

The number of reported sexual assaults has dropped from 5,981 in 2017 and 2018, the period covered by Uber’s first report, although the company made far fewer trips in 2020 due to the pandemic: 650 million compared to 1.4 billion in 2019. the number of reported sexual assaults decreased by 38 percent.

The fatalities from the attacks were the same as 19 in the previous period, as were the fatal crashes that killed 107 people in 2017 and 2018. backed by NHTSA data.

The number of deaths increased this year in part due to speeding on less congested highways during the pandemic, making it the deadliest year since 2007, the NHTSA said. in 2020.

The company said that 99.9% of Uber rides are uneventful, and that only 0.0002% of all rides involve one of the critical incidents mentioned in the report. The data does not include injuries and only counts trips, not UberEats food delivery.

Uber has tried to change its image, and the publication of safety data has been seen as a key component of this transformation.

In recent years, the company has added security options such as the ability for drivers to videotape rides and for drivers and passengers to record audio in the Uber app. Uber said that more than 500,000 potential drivers failed the vetting process in 2019 and 2020, and that more than 80,000 drivers were removed from the app as a result of the company’s ongoing criminal background checks.

“Secrecy doesn’t make anyone safer,” said Tony West, Uber’s general counsel. “That’s why we are calling on companies across the industry to step up and also be honest with the public about their safety record.”

He added: “By addressing the issue and consistently counting messages, we can work together to help end sexual assault.”

In recent months, organizations for the protection of the rights of drivers and members of Congress pressured concert companies to improve the safety of their drivers, and evaluation of one report that at least 50 drivers have died at work since 2017. An Uber report released Thursday said 19 drivers died in 2019 and 2020: 14 in crashes and five in assaults.

Uber is working with insurance companies to help drivers with crashes and injuries, and pays for injury insurance in some states where laws require it, Uber spokesman Andrew Hasbun said. The company also offers a dedicated Uber hotline for sexual assault survivors, in partnership with the National Rape, Abuse and Incest Network, he said.

Cherry Murphy, a former Lyft driver and spokeswoman for Gig Workers Rising, a driver advocacy group, wondered if driving was safe for Uber.

“Uber executives want you to think that showing numbers and statistics to reporters will make us believe that Uber is safe for both workers and riders,” she said. This is stated in Murphy’s statement. “But workers have known for a long time that the safety features they talk about are fake and don’t keep workers safe.”

Uber said it could not provide data on Covid-19 exposure or deaths among Uber drivers, but allocated $50 million worldwide for safety items such as masks and hand sanitizer, and provided drivers affected by Covid with more than 40 million dollars in aid.

Uber divides sexual harassment messages into five categories, including non-consensual kissing, rape, and attempted rape. The largest number of reports concerned “touching a sexual part of the body without consent”.

In the five categories, the alleged perpetrators and targets were roughly divided between drivers and drivers. Drivers were accused of assault in 56 percent of cases, and drivers in 43 percent. Drivers were victims in 39 percent of cases, and drivers in 61 percent.

Indira Henard, a member of the Uber Safety Advisory Board and executive director of the DC Rape Crisis Center, said publishing data on sexual harassment could help dispel the stigma surrounding the understated type of crime.

“Being frank about its safety, Uber is committed to ending the silence on gender-based violence,” the doctor said. Henard said in an interview.