Uber Security Report Says Sexual Assaults Down however Price of Visitors Deaths Up

Uber stated in a security report on Thursday that sexual assaults in its ride-hailing automobiles have been down considerably since its last report however that the speed of deadly automotive crashes had elevated.

The corporate stated 3,824 sexual assaults have been reported on its U.S. platform in 2019 and 2020, whereas 20 folks have been killed in assaults and 101 died in crashes.

The report was a sequel to Uber’s preliminary report, which it launched in 2019. The corporate dedicated to releasing reviews each two years, nevertheless it stated the brand new assessment had been slowed by a pandemic-related delay in 2020 information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Uber makes use of the company’s methodology and information requirements to investigate car fatalities.

Reported sexual assaults have been down from 5,981 in 2017 and 2018, the interval coated by Uber’s first report, although the corporate logged far fewer journeys in 2020 due to the pandemic: 650 million in contrast with 1.4 billion in 2019. Nonetheless, Uber stated the speed of reported sexual assaults had decreased 38 %.

Deaths from assaults have been comparable from 19 within the earlier interval, as have been deadly crashes, which killed 107 folks in 2017 and 2018. Uber stated the spike within the price of deadly automotive crashes mirrored an total deadlier yr on the roads in 2020, which is backed by data from NHTSA.

Deaths elevated that yr partly due to dashing on less-crowded highways through the pandemic, making it the deadliest yr since 2007, NHTSA stated, Although a lot of the Uber-related car deaths within the two years occurred in 2019, the speed was larger in 2020.

The corporate stated that 99.9 % of Uber rides happen with out incident, and that simply 0.0002 % of all rides embody one of many vital security incidents talked about within the report. The info doesn’t embody accidents and tallies solely rides, not meals deliveries on UberEats.

Uber has tried to reshape its picture, and releasing security information has been seen a key element of that makeover.

The corporate has added security choices lately, akin to the power for drivers to movie rides and for each drivers and riders to document audio from them within the Uber app. Uber stated that greater than 500,000 potential drivers had did not go its screening course of in 2019 and 2020, and that greater than 80,000 drivers had been faraway from the app on account of the corporate’s steady checking of prison information.

“Secrecy doesn’t make anybody safer,” Tony West, Uber’s chief authorized officer, stated in a press release. “That’s why we name on firms throughout the trade to step up and in addition be trustworthy with the general public about their security information.”

He added, “By confronting the problem and counting reviews constantly, we are able to work collectively to assist finish sexual violence.”

In latest months, driver advocacy organizations and members of Congress have pressured gig firms to enhance the security of their drivers, and one report estimated that not less than 50 gig drivers had been killed on the job since 2017. Uber’s report Thursday stated 19 drivers have been killed in 2019 and 2020 — 14 in crashes and 5 in assaults.

Uber works with insurance coverage firms to assist drivers with accidents and accidents, and pays for harm safety insurance coverage in some states the place legal guidelines require it, stated Andrew Hasbun, an organization spokesman. The corporate additionally provides an Uber-specific hotline for survivors of sexual assault, in partnership with the Rape, Abuse & Incest Nationwide Community, he stated.

Cherri Murphy, a former Lyft driver and spokeswoman for Gig Employees Rising, a driver advocacy group, questioned whether or not driving for Uber was protected.

“Uber executives need you to assume that throwing numbers and statistics on the reporters will idiot us into believing Uber is protected for employees and for passengers,” Ms. Murphy stated in a press release. “However employees have lengthy recognized that the security options they converse of are pretend, and fail to maintain employees protected.”

Uber stated that it couldn’t present numbers about Covid-19 publicity or deaths amongst Uber drivers, however that it had allotted $50 million globally towards security provides like masks and hand sanitizer, and given drivers affected by Covid greater than $40 million in support.

Uber divides reported sexual assault into 5 classes, together with nonconsensual kissing, rape and tried rape. The biggest variety of reviews have been “nonconsensual touching of a sexual physique half.”

Throughout the 5 classes, alleged perpetrators and targets have been roughly break up between riders and drivers. Drivers have been accused of assault in 56 % of instances and riders in 43 %. Drivers have been the sufferer in 39 % and riders in 61 %.

Indira Henard, a member of Uber’s Security Advisory Board and the chief director of the D.C. Rape Disaster Heart, stated releasing information about sexual assaults may assist dispel stigma round an underreported sort of crime.

“By being clear with their security document, Uber is aiming to cease the silence round gender-based violence,” Dr. Henard stated in an interview.

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