Is Uber Safe? Rise in Sexual Assaults Involving Ride-Sharing App
Is Uber safe? Over two years more than 6,000 people, including riders and drivers, reported sexual assaults related to Uber rides in Uber’s first safety report made public in December 2019. These are alarming numbers considering that sexual assault is one of the most traumatic experiences that anyone can suffer physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Uber reported 2,986 sexual assaults in 2017 and 3,045 in 2018 involving incidents from unwanted kissing of a “nonsexual body part” to attempted rape and rape. The largest number of reports involved nonconsensual touching of a “sexual body part”, such as someone’s mouth or genitals. In cases of rape, 92% of the victims were riders.
Should Uber be doing more to screen drivers, particularly with background checks? Surprisingly, unlike many taxi companies, Uber does not check drivers’ fingerprints against a national database. Uber conducts background checks using Social Security numbers. However, you can easily fake a Social Security number, not a fingerprint. Also, the rideshare model can contribute to crimes. Typically an Uber driver’s vehicle does not have a plexiglass divider like a taxi driver. This unobstructed environment could encourage inappropriate behavior.
We are still waiting for Lyft’s safety report. Uber’s report highlights that the public should beware – you are in a dangerous place in a moving car with a stranger.
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment or assault by an Uber or Lyft driver, and wish to consult with an attorney, please feel free to contact us for a confidential consultation about your potential remedies. Located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we proudly represent individuals throughout Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and nationwide. For a free consultation, call us at 215-557-0099 or submit an online inquiry form.