3,000 Uber Passengers Reported Sex Assaults Last Year

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More than 3,000 Uber passengers reported sexual assaults in 2018, the ride-sharing company said in its first-ever safety report, The Guardian reports. These incidents, which include 229 rapes, represent just a small fraction of the more than 1.3 billion rides Uber facilitated in the U.S. in the past year, but they come at a time when the company is increasingly under scrutiny for worker and rider safety conditions. Uber bases its numbers on reports from riders and drivers, meaning the actual numbers probably are much higher. Sexual assaults commonly go unreported. The company noted that drivers and riders were both attacked, and that some assaults occurred between riders.

“I suspect many people will be surprised at how rare these incidents are; others will understandably think they’re still too common,” Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, tweeted. “Some people will appreciate how much we’ve done on safety; others will say we have more work to do. They will all be right.” At an October hearing, a House committee called on Uber and its rideshare competitor Lyft to improve safety measures. The companies have been criticized over background check processes and responses to sexual assaults during rides. More than 20 passengers are suing Lyft over alleged sexual assault by drivers. In another lawsuit, Lyft customer Alison Turkos is suing on 11 counts, including vicarious liability for assault with a deadly weapon, sexual assault, sexual battery and breach of contract, after her driver allegedly kidnapped her, drove her across state lines, and raped her. The report from Uber focused solely on rides in the U.S. and not the 65 other countries where Uber operates.

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