Uber Safety Report Says Sexual Assaults Down but Rate of Traffic Deaths Up

Uber mentioned in a security report on Thursday that sexual assaults in its ride-hailing automobiles have been down considerably since its final report however that the speed of deadly automobile crashes had elevated.

The corporate mentioned 3,824 sexual assaults have been reported on its U.S. platform in 2019 and 2020, whereas 20 folks have been killed in assaults and 101 died in crashes.

The report was a sequel to Uber’s preliminary report, which it launched in 2019. The corporate dedicated to releasing experiences each two years, nevertheless it mentioned the brand new review had been slowed by a pandemic-related delay in 2020 knowledge from the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration. Uber makes use of the company’s methodology and knowledge requirements to research car fatalities.

Reported sexual assaults have been down from 5,981 in 2017 and 2018, the interval lined by Uber’s first report, although the corporate logged far fewer journeys in 2020 due to the pandemic: 650 million in contrast with 1.4 billion in 2019. Nonetheless, Uber mentioned the speed of reported sexual assaults had decreased 38 p.c.

Deaths from assaults have been related from 19 within the earlier interval, as have been deadly crashes, which killed 107 folks in 2017 and 2018. Uber mentioned the spike within the fee of deadly automobile crashes mirrored an total deadlier yr on the roads in 2020, which is backed by knowledge from NHTSA.

Deaths elevated that yr partially due to rushing on less-crowded highways through the pandemic, making it the deadliest yr since 2007, NHTSA mentioned, Although a lot of the Uber-related car deaths within the two years occurred in 2019, the speed was greater in 2020.

The corporate mentioned that 99.9 p.c of Uber rides happen with out incident, and that simply 0.0002 p.c of all rides embody one of many vital security incidents talked about within the report. The info doesn’t embody accidents and tallies solely rides, not meals deliveries on UberEats.

Uber has tried to reshape its picture, and releasing security knowledge has been seen a key element of that makeover.

The corporate has added security choices in recent times, comparable to the power for drivers to movie rides and for each drivers and riders to document audio from them within the Uber app. Uber mentioned that greater than 500,000 potential drivers had did not move its screening course of in 2019 and 2020, and that greater than 80,000 drivers had been faraway from the app because of the corporate’s steady checking of felony information.

“Secrecy doesn’t make anybody safer,” Tony West, Uber’s chief authorized officer, mentioned in a press release. “That’s why we name on corporations throughout the business to step up and likewise be trustworthy with the general public about their security information.”

He added, “By confronting the difficulty and counting experiences constantly, we will work collectively to assist finish sexual violence.”

In current months, driver advocacy organizations and members of Congress have pressured gig corporations to enhance the security of their drivers, and one report estimated that at the least 50 gig drivers had been killed on the job since 2017. Uber’s report Thursday mentioned 19 drivers have been killed in 2019 and 2020 — 14 in crashes and 5 in assaults.

Uber works with insurance coverage corporations to assist drivers with accidents and accidents, and pays for harm safety insurance coverage in some states the place legal guidelines require it, mentioned Andrew Hasbun, an organization spokesman. The corporate additionally affords an Uber-specific hotline for survivors of sexual assault, in partnership with the Rape, Abuse & Incest Nationwide Community, he mentioned.

Cherri Murphy, a former Lyft driver and spokeswoman for Gig Staff Rising, a driver advocacy group, questioned whether or not driving for Uber was secure.

“Uber executives need you to assume that throwing numbers and statistics on the reporters will idiot us into believing Uber is secure for employees and for passengers,” Ms. Murphy mentioned in a press release. “However employees have lengthy identified that the security options they converse of are faux, and fail to maintain employees secure.”

Uber mentioned that it couldn’t present numbers about Covid-19 publicity or deaths amongst Uber drivers, however that it had allotted $50 million globally towards security provides like masks and hand sanitizer, and given drivers affected by Covid greater than $40 million in help.

Uber divides reported sexual assault into 5 classes, together with nonconsensual kissing, rape and tried rape. The most important variety of experiences have been “nonconsensual touching of a sexual physique half.”

Throughout the 5 classes, alleged perpetrators and targets have been roughly break up between riders and drivers. Drivers have been accused of assault in 56 p.c of instances and riders in 43 p.c. Drivers have been the sufferer in 39 p.c and riders in 61 p.c.

Indira Henard, a member of Uber’s Security Advisory Board and the chief director of the D.C. Rape Disaster Middle, mentioned releasing knowledge about sexual assaults might assist dispel stigma round an underreported sort of crime.

“By being clear with their security document, Uber is aiming to cease the silence round gender-based violence,” Dr. Henard mentioned in an interview.