Online Originals: Uber releases long-awaited safety report

Online Originals

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) One of the most popular ride-sharing services in the country, Uber, has just released a long-awaited safety report with numbers on motor vehicle accidents and rides that have included sexual or physical assault on all scales.

3,045 incidents of sexual assault were reported in addition to nine people murdered and 58 killed in crashes in 2018.

These incidents add up at just 0.0002% of the 1.3 billion rides taken last year, but Uber says even that number is too high.

In 2017, Uber said 2,936 sexual assaults occurred, 49 fatal vehicle crashes and 10 murders.

The Uber US Safety Report was a 21-month project and used data from 2017-2018 where roughly 3.1 million rides per day occurred.

Uber stressed a few important points in the report before getting into the specific data.

First, Uber stressed that riders are not the only ones who have reported an assault.

…our data shows that drivers report assaults at roughly the same rate as riders across the 5 most serious categories of sexual assault. Drivers are victims, too.

Uber US Safety Report

Additionally, the report states that 99.9% of rides end without any safety-related issues at all.

Here are a few of the general statistics taken from the report:

  • 1.4% of trips had a support request of any kind, most frequently for issues such as lost items, refunds, or route feedback.
  • 0.1% of trips had a support request for a safety-related concern, and the majority of those concerns were about less-severe safety issues such as complaints of harsh braking or a verbal argument.
  • 0.0003% of trips had a report of a critical safety incident.

0.0003% of trips are the ones referenced in the report.

Biggest takeaways:

The report shared information about three categories of critical safety incidents:

  • Motor vehicle fatalities
  • Fatal physical assault
  • Sexual assault (further detailed in 5 subcategories)
    • Non-Consensual Kissing of a Non-Sexual Body Part
    • Attempted Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration
    • Non-Consensual Touching of a Sexual Body Part Executive summary Uber 8 Section X
    • Non-Consensual Kissing of a Sexual Body Part
    • Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration

Motor vehicle fatalities data:

There were 107 total fatalities in 2017 and 2018 across 97 fatal crashes reported in relation to the Uber app and approximately 90% of the incidents were in urban areas.

22 (21%) of the fatalities in this report were drivers using the Uber platform and 23 (21%) were riders using the Uber platform. The rest were third parties.

Fatal physical assault data:

Fatal physical assault was reported to occur in about 1 in every 122,000,000 US trips, or approximately 0.000001% of US trips.

19 people are deceased in relation to fatal physical assaults while driving, riding or being involved with an Uber ride during 2017 and 2018.

Eight were riders using the Uber platform, seven were drivers using the Uber platform, and four were third parties.

Sexual assault data:

It’s important to remember the safety report has broken down sexual assault into five subcategories.

The information below was taken directly from the report.

  • Non-Consensual Kissing of a Non-Sexual Body Part was reported to occur in about 1 in every 2,000,000 completed trips.
  • Attempted Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration was reported to occur in about 1 in 4,000,000 completed trips. This category covers a wide range of reports and includes attempted clothing removal and incident reports that are fragmented or incomplete due to memory loss or lack of event recall.
  • Instances of Non-Consensual Touching of a Sexual Body Part were reported to occur in about 1 in every 800,000 trips.
  • Non-Consensual Kissing of a Sexual Body Part was reported to occur in 1 in every 3,000,000 completed US trips.
  • Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration—the most serious sexual assault category—was reported to occur in about 1 in 5,000,000 US trips, or on approximately 0.00002% of US trips.

Across all 5 categories, riders account for 45% of accused parties

Committed to safety:

Uber says it is committed to ensuring the safety of both riders and drivers using the app.

Several safety features have been put in place in the past two years including:

  • In-app Emergency Button: Connects patrons with 911 at the click of a button
  • RideCheck: Detects events such as unexpected long stops on a trip or possible vehicle crashes. The technology checks in with riders and drivers to see if everything is OK, and the app provides tools that they can use to get help if needed
  • Share My Trip: Allows riders to share the details of their trip with loved ones
  • Real-Time ID Check: Requires drivers to take a photo of themselves in the Uber app to ensure the right person is behind the wheel using facial recognition technology

Other safety features include speeding alerts and a driving-hours tool.

Uber says all of its drivers are required to participate in a Motor Vehicle Review process as well as an annual extensive background check before being allowed to drive.

The report also states:

We were the first US ridesharing company to implement continuous driver screening technology, which monitors and flags new criminal offenses through a number of data sources and then notifies us so we can take action to ensure that every driver continues to meet our high standards. Since we launched this technology, more than 40,000 drivers have been removed from the app due to continuous screening.

Uber US Safety Report

In conclusion:

The data from the report shows that incidents involving Uber have declined year-over-year and the company is still working to implement new safety measures and training for support staff.

Uber is also working with several partners to connect victims to third-party advocates.

To read the full Uber US Safety Report, click here.

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