Tech

Uber Safety Report Says Sexual Assaults Down but Rate of Traffic Deaths Up

Uber stated in a security report on Thursday that sexual assaults in its ride-hailing automobiles have been down considerably since its final 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 experiences each two years, but it surely stated the brand new evaluate had been slowed by a pandemic-related delay in 2020 knowledge from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Uber makes use of the company’s methodology and knowledge requirements to investigate automobile 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 charge of deadly automotive crashes mirrored an general deadlier 12 months on the roads in 2020, which is backed by data from NHTSA.

Deaths elevated that 12 months partly due to dashing on less-crowded highways throughout the pandemic, making it the deadliest 12 months since 2007, NHTSA stated, Although many of the Uber-related automobile 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 embrace one of many crucial security incidents talked about within the report. The info doesn’t embrace accidents and tallies solely rides, not meals deliveries on UberEats.

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

The corporate has added security choices lately, resembling the flexibility for drivers to movie rides and for each drivers and riders to file audio from them within the Uber app. Uber stated that greater than 500,000 potential drivers had didn’t go its screening course of in 2019 and 2020, and that greater than 80,000 drivers had been faraway from the app because of the corporate’s steady checking of felony data.

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

He added, “By confronting the difficulty and counting experiences persistently, we will work collectively to assist finish sexual violence.”

In latest months, driver advocacy organizations and members of Congress have pressured gig corporations to enhance the protection of their drivers, and one report estimated that no 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 corporations to assist drivers with accidents and accidents, and pays for damage 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 Staff Rising, a driver advocacy group, questioned whether or not driving for Uber was protected.

“Uber executives need you to suppose that throwing numbers and statistics on the reporters will idiot us into believing Uber is protected for staff and for passengers,” Ms. Murphy stated in an announcement. “However staff have lengthy recognized that the protection options they converse of are faux, and fail to maintain staff 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 most important variety of experiences 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 circumstances 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 knowledge about sexual assaults may assist dispel stigma round an underreported sort of crime.

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

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