Uber security report says sexual assaults down however visitors deaths nonetheless up

Uber said in a safety report on Thursday that sexual assaults in its ride-hailing vehicles have decreased significantly since… last report But the fatal car accident rate has increased.

The company said 3,824 sexual assaults were reported on its platform in the United States in 2019 and 2020, while 20 people were killed in assaults and 101 people died in crashes.

The report is a follow-up to Uber’s original report, which was released in 2019. The company pledged to release the report every two years, but it said the new review was delayed due to delays. related to the 2020 pandemic from the data National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Uber uses the agency’s methodology and data standards to analyze vehicle deaths.

Reported sexual assaults have dropped from 5,981 in 2017 and 2018, the time period covered in Uber’s first report, even though the company recorded fewer rides in 2020 because of the pandemic. Translation: 650 million versus 1.4 billion in 2019. However, Uber says the rate of reported sexual assaults has dropped by 38%.

Assault deaths are similar to 19 in the previous period, as are fatal crashes, which killed 107 people in 2017 and 2018. Uber said the spike in injuries fatal auto accident rates reflect an overall year on the road more than in 2020, which is supported by data from NHTSA.

The increase in deaths that year was partly due to speeding on highways that were less crowded during the pandemic, making it the deadliest year since 2007, NHTSA said. in 2020.

The company says that 99.9% of Uber rides go incident-free, and only 0.0002% of all rides include one of the critical safety incidents mentioned in the report. The data does not include injuries and only rides, not food deliveries on UberEats.

Uber has been trying to reshape its image, and the release of secure data is seen as a key component of that makeover.

The company has added safety options in recent years, such as the ability for drivers to film trips and for both drivers and motorists to record audio from them in the app. Uber. Uber says more than 500,000 potential drivers failed to pass the screening process in 2019 and 2020, and more than 80,000 drivers were removed from the app due to the company’s ongoing criminal record checks.

“Confidentiality doesn’t make anyone any safer,” Tony West, Uber’s chief legal officer, said in a statement. “That’s why we’re calling on companies across the industry to step up and also be honest with the public about their safety records.”

He added, “By confronting the problem and counting the reports consistently, we can work together to help end sexual violence.”

In recent months, driver advocacy organizations and Members of parliament pressured gig companies to improve the safety of their drivers, and an estimated report that at least 50 contract drivers have been killed on the job since 2017. Uber’s report Thursday said 19 drivers were killed in 2019 and 2020 – 14 in crashes and 5 in assault cases.

According to Andrew Hasbun, a spokesman for the company, Uber works with insurance companies to help drivers with accidents and injuries, and to pay for disability insurance in certain states. required by law. The company also offers a dedicated Uber hotline for sexual assault survivors, in partnership with the National Network for Rape, Abuse & Incest, he said.

Cherri Murphy, a former Lyft driver and spokesperson for Gig Worker Rising, a driver advocacy group, questioned whether it was safe to drive for Uber.

“Uber executives want you to think that throwing numbers and statistics at reporters will mislead us into believing that Uber is safe for workers and for passengers,” Murphy said in a statement. . “But workers have long known that the safety features they talk about are fake and don’t keep workers safe.”

Uber says it cannot provide numbers on Covid-19 exposure or deaths of Uber drivers, but it has allocated $50 million globally for safe supplies like masks and hand sanitizer, while providing Covid-affected drivers with more than $40 million in aid.

Uber divides reported sexual assaults into five categories, including unprovoked kissing, rape, and attempted rape. The largest number of reports were “unprovoked touching of sexual organs”.

In the five categories, perpetrators and alleged targets are roughly divided between riders and drivers. Drivers were charged with assault in 56% of cases and motorists in 43%. The driver was the victim with 39% and the driver with 61%.

Indira Henard, a member of Uber’s Safety Advisory Board and executive director of the DC Rape Crisis Center, said the release of data on sexual assault cases could help dispel the stigma of a sexual assault. underreported crime.

Dr Henard said in an interview: “By making their safety record transparent, Uber is aiming to prevent silence around gender-based violence.

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