Uber Safety Report: 3000+ Ridesharing Sexual Assault Cases in 2018 with Two-Year Total Nearing 6000 Uber Sexual Assault Victims
Dec 19, 2019
Uber just released its first U.S. Safety Report revealing Uber’s confirmation of over 3000 reports of sexual assault occurring during Uber ride-sharing in 2018 alone. Couple this tally with Uber’s reported 2017 numbers, and the ridesharing company is acknowledging almost 6000 sexual assault ridesharing victims in the past two years. For details, read:
Of course, these numbers reflect sexual assault victims confirmed by Uber itself. The count will be higher if unreported or unconfirmed incidents are included.
Uber concedes as much in its Report: “…sexual assault is also one of the most under-reported crimes in the US generally, with some researchers believing that nearly 3 out of every 4 sexual assaults go unreported to police.” Full Report, page 62 (emphasis added).
Defining Uber Ridesharing Sexual Assault Incidents
Uber sexual assault cases can involve a variety of illegal acts. The victim can be either an Uber Driver or an Uber Passenger. Criminal definitions of these incidents can be found in state statutes, as for example those crimes defined in Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code. Uber has not cited any specific criminal laws.
As for Uber’s definition of sexual assault incidents involving its company, we find the following from the Uber Safety Report Executive Summary (page 11):
For 2017 and 2018 combined:
• 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.
For more details on the data, refer to the Uber Full Report, pages 58-61.
Uber Concedes Sexual Assaults Are “Tough Issue” Facing the Ridesharing Company
Uber acknowledges the serious trend of sexual assaults occurring during ridesharing. First, in the December 6, 2019 news release accompanying its Uber Safety Report, the company admits sexual assaults are one of the “toughest issues we face as a company.…”
Uber’s Chief Legal Officer is Former Sex Crimes Prosecutor
Moreover, Uber has hired a former sex crimes prosecutor for its Chief Legal Officer, Tony West, who authors the news release. Tony West explains he is “… someone who has prosecuted sex crimes and worked on these issues for more than 25 years.”
Uber Reveals Open Source Classification System for Ridesharing Crimes
Additionally, Uber has set up its own “classification system” for sexual assault incidents which it hopes to set as a ridesharing industry standard. Mr. West heralds this “much needed” open source “classification system” for ridesharing sex crimes created by Uber in partnership with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and the Urban Institute. Uber “…made it open source so that other companies can use it to improve safety for their own customers.”
Uber Touts Work with Police, More Uber Safety Hires, and Increase in Background Checks
West also points to Uber’s work with “law enforcement officials, road safety organizations, and more than 200 gender-based violence prevention experts … to innovate on new approaches that will raise the bar on safety in ridesharing” as well as tripling the size of the Uber safety team to 300+ safety professionals; adding Uber safety apps; and performing “more rigorous background checks that continuously look for new criminal offenses.”
From hiring a career sex crimes prosecutor to issuing this report and promising better background checks, Uber’s actions demonstrate the company’s keen awareness that its ridesharing services come with a real risk of sexual assault.
The Dangers of Uber Sexual Assaults
Rideshare services like those offered by Uber are a growing segment of the transportation industry; however, the ridesharing companies are not overseen with the same level of regulation and governmental oversight as cab companies or limo services, among other more traditional driving companies or carrier services.
Of particular concern is the resulting lack of company protections involving things like driver screening, driver background checks, and more. It is no wonder that sexual assaults and other sex crimes are a very real danger for anyone choosing to deal with Uber ridesharing.
Wigington Rumley Dunn & Blair Represents Uber Ridesharing Victims of Sexual Assault
Our law firm is well aware of the serious risks posed by Uber since we represent victims who have been injured in incidents involving ridesharing sexual assaults.
These Uber sexual assault cases can involve a range of sexual acts as well as range of resulting bodily injuries, caused either by intentional conduct of the wrongdoer or the negligence of the Uber driver.
It is paramount that Uber sexual assault victims are provided justice and Uber is held accountable, even as the company obviously attempts to mitigate future sex crimes involving Uber sexual assaults while acknowledging in its December release and accompanying report on the severity of this problem.
To learn more about our Uber representations, review the full text of the Plaintiff’s Original Petition filed April 2019 in Bexar County, Texas involving an Uber ridesharing sexual assault victim’s claims, Cause No. 2019-CI-06788, styled as Jane Doe, Plaintiff, v. Uber Technologies, Inc., and Jacobo Manuel Gutierrez, Defendants, in the 57th Judicial District Court of Bexar County, Texas.
For more on the Uber Safety Report, read:
- “Uber Discloses 3000 Reports of Sexual Assault on U.S. Rides Last Year in Long-Awaited Safety Study,” written by Greg Bensinger and Jonathan Baran, and published on December 5, 2019 by the Washington Post;
- “Uber reports more than 3,000 sexual assaults on 2018 rides,” written by Rachel Lerman and Barbara Ortutay of the Associated Press and published by San Antonio’s KSAT-12 on December 6, 2019.