What you need to know
- Uber has published its first-ever safety report for 2018.
- The report reveals that 9 people were murdered during rides, with 58 killed in crashes.
- There were over 3,000 reported sexual assaults, but all incidents make up a tiny fraction of the overall number of rides.
Uber has published its first every safety report, detailing incidents recorded during 1.3 billion rides taken in 2018.
As reported by The New York Times, the figures detail 3,045 sexual assaults during rides, along with nine murders and 58 people killed in crashes.
Whilst that sounds pretty harrowing at face value, 1.3 billion rides were taken in the U.S. last year, which means that the number of unsafe incidents makes up just 0.0002 percent of total rides. Uber's chief legal officer Tony West said:
"The numbers are jarring and hard to digest... What it says is that Uber is a reflection of the society it serves."
According to the report's fatal physical assault data - between 2017 and 2018 there were 19 total murders, eight of whom were riders, seven of whom were drives and four of whom were third parties (bystanders or similar).
With regards to sexual assault. 92 percent of reported victims in cases of rape were riders, however among other types of sexual assault incidents were reported roughly equally by riders and drivers.
With regard to fatal accidents, across 2017 and 2018, only about 40% of those killed were either drivers or riders using uber, the rest were third parties. 90% of all fatal accidents occurred in urban areas.
You can read the report or a summary on Uber's website. With regard to safety and its response, the report notes that Uber has started using automated technology to regularly check driver records and criminal history. It says that 40,000 drivers in the US have been deactivated since 2018. The company has also tripled its safety team since 2017, now employing 300 people. Next year, it plans to set up a support hotline with the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network to provide riders and drivers more support. It is also reported that Uber plans to share information with other similar companies, to prevent drivers it thinks may have committed assault from gaining similar employment elsewhere, however, there is no timeline in place for that last change.