A CNN investigation found that at least 103 drivers for Uber in the U.S. have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers in the last four years. At least 31 drivers have been convicted of crimes from false imprisonment and forcible touching to rape. Many criminal and civil cases against drivers are currently pending.
Data regarding the number of sexual assaults by Uber drivers or by drivers for other rideshare companies is not publicly available. CNN’s analysis came only from a review or police reports and databases for 20 major U.S. cities.
Uber provides over 15 million rides a day and promotes itself as providing a “safe ride home”. Some of its campaigns show women taking Ubers for nights out. It has partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving in order to urge users to take Uber instead of driving drunk. Uber also set up a kiosk in Canada to offer free rides to those who blew into breathalyzers.
However, many of the women who have been attacked by Uber drivers had been drinking or were intoxicated at the time of the attacks. Drivers told CNN that they were not provided any type of sexual harassment or assault training, although the company did specify that no sexual contact is permitted between drivers and passengers.
Uber says that safety is the company’s top priority, and says that it is changing some of its safety protocol. For example, it plans to rerun driver background checks on an annual basis. It also will have an emergency button allowing users to call 911 from inside the app.
Uber is not the only rideshare company dealing with sexual assaults by drivers. There have been many cases of Lyft drivers accused of sexual assaults as well. Lyft also claims that safety is a top priority for the company.
Uber and Lyft have both faced lawsuits from riders who have been sexually assaulted or raped by drivers. Both companies have been accused of not doing enough to keep their riders safe. If you have been harmed by a driver for Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare company, you should speak with an attorney. If you are in Los Angeles, call me, Conal Doyle, Los Angeles personal injury attorney, at 310-385-0567. I can help. Call today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation on your case.