Jul 1, 2022 - Technology

Uber reports sexual assault decline for 2019-20

Sign with logo at the headquarters of car-sharing technology company Uber in the South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood of San Francisco, California in 2017.
Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Thousands of U.S. Uber drivers and riders reported being sexually assaulted over a two-year period, according to a safety report the ride-hailing company released on Thursday — its second ever, covering 2019-20.

Between the lines: The 3,824 reported sexual assaults is actually a decline of 38% from the previous report, which covered 2017 and 2018. However, the number of deaths due to physical assaults and crashes both increased.

The big picture: According to Uber, 20 people were killed in assaults and 101 died in crashes, both increases from the earlier report.

  • In a note accompanying the report, Uber legal chief Tony West noted that Uber's fatality rate is half the national average.
  • At the same time, he said that 2020 was the deadliest year on American roads since 2008 amid an increase in drunk driving, speeding and other risky behavior. "Uber’s platform was not immune to those broader trends," West said.

Of note: These numbers cover a period in which Uber provided significantly fewer rides due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in early 2020.

What they're saying: Gig Workers Rising, which aims to represent the interests of those who work for on-demand services like Uber, said in a statement that the report shows how driving for ride-share services is "inherently dangerous."

  • "One murder on the job is too much," said Cherri Murphy, a former Lyft driver and spokesperson for Gig Workers Rising. "Yet Uber’s own reporting reveals that 20 people were killed in assaults in 2019 and 2020."
  • "When a worker is tragically killed while driving for Uber, their business model locks workers out of crucial safety net programs like workers compensation, disability, etc.," Murphy said.
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