Rideshare platform Uber released its second US Safety Report last week, covering the years 2019 and 2020. According to the report, there were 3,824 sexual assaults reported on the platform in those years, including 141 rapes. These figures reflected a decline in sexual assaults since its previous annual report, though it reportedly saw an increase in car crash-related deaths, with 101 fatalities connected to the platform. In addition to the sexual assaults and motor vehicle accident fatalities, a report by CNN notes, there were also “20 fatalities as a result of physical assaults” reported in 2019 and 2020, including 15 rider fatalities.
Uber’s 2017 and 2018 US Safety Report counted 5,981 sexual assaults reported in those years, according to an analysis by the New York Times. Notably, the declining rate of reported assaults coincided with a decline in ridership overall over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic: there were 1.4 billion rides in 2019, compared to 650 million rides in 2020. On the other hand, the increase in motor vehicle accident-related fatalities aligned with an upward trend in fatal car crashes during the pandemic, as reckless driving increased across the country. “Though most of the Uber-related vehicle deaths in the two years occurred in 2019,” the Times notes, “the rate was higher in 2020.”
Uber’s report boasted that more than 99.9% of rides on the platform “are completed without any safety report at all,” while stressing that each incident represents a human being and a human toll. “That’s why our work on safety will never stop,” the report concludes. “We’re constantly innovating and investing in the safety of our platform. We’ve prioritized robust screening processes and technology, built new safety features, and invested in providing riders and drivers with support in times of need. We remain dedicated to helping protect drivers and riders who use the Uber platform, and we’re committed to following the advice and guidance of safety experts and advocates.”