Uber Releases Safety Report on Fatalities and Sexual Assaults During Rides

 Transportation Network Companies (TNCs)

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Uber – the most popular transportation network company (TNC) in the United States with more than 45 rides occurring every second in 2019 – has released its long awaited U.S. Safety Report for 2017-2018 that shared information about critical safety incidents such as fatalities and sexual assaults during Uber rides.

The Uber U.S. Safety Report examined three categories of critical safety incidents – motor vehicle fatalities, fatal physical assaults, and sexual assaults, which the report defined “as any physical or attempted physical contact that is reported to be sexual in nature and without the consent of the user.”

The Uber Safety Report found there were 107 total fatalities in 2017 and 2018 across 97 fatal crashes reported in relation to the Uber app, 19 deaths due to physical assault on Uber rides in 2017 and 2018, and 5,981 reports of conduct in the five most serious sub-categories of sexual assault in 2017 and 2018.

Across the five most serious sub-categories of sexual assault, passengers of Uber rides accounted for nearly half – 45% – of accused parties, meaning that drivers were also victims. In addition, from 2017 to 2018, Uber saw a 16 percent decrease in the average incident rate of the five most serious sexual assault categories reported.

The Executive Summary of the Uber U.S. Safety Report disclosed that the “vast majority (99.9%) of Uber trips end without any safety-related issue at all.” For example, for the Uber rides in 2017 and 2018, “0.0003% of trips had a report of a critical safety incident, which are the incidents referenced in this report.”

The Executive Summary also outlined safety investments made by Uber such as driver background checks and screenings. All U.S. drivers that apply to Uber undergo an annual Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) review and a thorough criminal history background check before their first trip.

During 2017 and 2018, the report found more than one million prospective drivers did not pass Uber’s screening process, with the majority (76%) of drivers failing the screening process by being disqualified during the MVR check and not advancing to the criminal background check portion of the screening.

Uber stated the company “will disqualify individuals with any felony convictions in the last 7 years” and disqualify a potential driver “for certain serious criminal convictions—including sexual assault, sex crimes against children, murder/homicide, terrorism, and kidnapping—at any time in the person’s history.”

Uber also stated it was “the first US ridesharing company to implement continuous driver screening technology, which monitors and flags new criminal offenses.” Since launching this technology, more than 40,000 drivers have been removed from the app due to continuous screening.

Uber’s U.S. Safety Report examined data from 2017 and 2018 taken from its ridesharing platform, a time frame in which an average of more than 3.1 million Uber trips took place each day in the United States. The full report and Executive Summary are available at www.uber.com/us/en/about/reports/us-safety-report/.

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