An Uber sign is displayed inside a car in Palatine, Ill., Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.07.2022SubscribeUSIndiaGlobalKirill KurevlevCorrespondentAll materialsWrite to the authorThe issue of this report has been plaguing the company for the past few years, even before the pandemic, after media investigations showed that sexual harassment and rapes were a real threat to the safety of passengers.Ridershare company Uber reported 141 instances of rape on its platform in the US, even as its ridership was diminished by the COVID-19 pandemic, a safety report released by the company on Thursday has revealed.The current report follows a slew of media investigations and a previous report by the company into sexual assault and abuse on the ride-hailing platform four years ago, and Uber’s 78-page report covers the years of 2019 and 2020. This is the second report Uber has ever produced about safety incidents over the past years.In total, the company has received 3,824 reports of the five most serious types of sexual assault, which include rape, or “non-consensual sexual penetration,” and “non-consensual sexual kissing of a non-sexual body part.”For the sake of comparison, the number of assaults documented in the initial report published in December 2019 was higher, with a total of 5,981 reports recorded in 2017 and 2018. Similar to its prior findings, Uber said that riders were the alleged perpetrators in 43% of the reported incidents, with 45% indicated in the previous study.Notably, Uber’s overall number of US trips over the two-year period dropped to 2.1 billion from 2.3 billion in the previous report, and the average number of rides per day dropped from 3.1 million to 2.8 million. The document stated that there were 38% fewer reports of sexual assault between the first and second reports. The 141 complaints of rape in 2020 represent a decrease from the 247 reports in 2019. According to the data, the number of trips made in the US decreased over that time from 1.4 billion in 2019 to 650 million in 2020. Rape incidents accounted just 0.00002% of all rides, the report stressed.“The change in rate of sexual assault reports over time may have been impacted by a number of factors, including how the COVID-19 pandemic altered usage of the platform as well as Uber’s safety and transparency efforts,” the company wrote in a news release. “But each reported incident represents a harrowing lived experience for the survivor. Even one report is one report too many.”Moreover, approximately 91% of rape victims were passengers, and only 7% were drivers. Among the victims, 81% were women and only roughly 15% were men, which is nearly double that of the first report. The report highlights the purported success of several safety measures that the business has put in place over the years. It started ongoing background checks on drivers in 2018 using technology that follows new reports of criminal offenses. According to the study, this function has so far led to the removal of more than 80,000 drivers from its platform.Uber - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.07.2021New Yorker Who Posed as Uber Driver Set to Go on Trial in South Carolina for Murder of Student

Number of Fatalities is Comparatively High

Over the two-year timeframe, Uber also documented a total of 20 fatalities caused by physical assaults, 15 of which involved passengers. According to Uber, the rise is “similar to national homicide and aggravated assault statistics beginning in 2020 during the pandemic.” It added that 101 motor vehicle fatalities happened as a result of collisions involving Uber. According to the analysis, the number of fatal car accidents linked to the Uber platform in 2019 and 2020 is around “half the national average.”The company’s claims are supported by NHTSA statistics. Speeding on less-traveled highways during the pandemic contributed to the rise in fatalities that year, making it the bloodiest year since 2007, according to NHTSA. Although 2019 saw the majority of the two years of Uber-related automobile fatalities, 2020 saw a greater rate.

Regulations to Increase Passengers’ Safety

Uber and Lyft reportedly became the first to commit to creating a safety transparency report in response to claims that touched on the company’s lack of action on drivers accused of sexual assault or abuse by passengers since 2014.According to a CNN report, Uber announced improved safety measures, including a partnership with RapidSOS, a business that works to send a rider’s location and pertinent information to a local law enforcement agency when the rider uses the emergency button in the Uber app. The company also redesigned its background check procedure.As a result of Uber’s initial report, the California Public Utilities Commission reportedly fined the company $59 million for withholding additional information on occurrences of sexual assault and harassment on its network. In a settlement deal reached in December 2021, the state regulator later significantly decreased the penalties in exchange for Uber agreeing to spend $9 million toward safety-related activities. UberPOP driver Anthony Loussala-Dubreas, 24, of Paris, turns on his smartphone in his car in Paris, Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.03.2022Most Uber, Lyft Drivers Quit or Are Driving Less Due to High Gas Prices – PollLyft, however, said in its first safety report that it had received 4,158 claims of sexual assault on its network between 2017 and 2019. In contrast to Uber, Lyft has not publicly stated that it will produce more reports on the subject.Uber and Lyft stated in March 2021 that they will share the names of drivers who had their accounts suspended due to the most serious safety events, such as sexual assaults, which can range from non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual area of the body to rape. A third-party consumer reporting company called Hire Right is in charge of managing the information sharing. Updates on this relationship and its outcomes since its debut are not included in Uber’s most recent report.



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