A lack of transparency about the number of incidents involving drivers and riders has been an issue in lawsuits against Uber. For the first time, there are figures from the investigations conducted by CNN.
The highly anticipated safety report on Uber was released on Thursday with disturbing figures. The report revealed that between 2017 and 2018, the ride-hauling app received 5981 reports on sexual assault, among which 464 cases were rape.
This report comes one year after CNN had found that 31 uber drivers have been convicted for crimes ranging from forcible touching and false imprisonment to rape, and dozens of criminal and civil cases are still pending.
The issue of sexual-assault among uber drivers’ conflict with the company’s brand message to provide a “safe-ride home.” A woman in California said she was intoxicated at the back seat in 2016. She woke up to find the driver assaulting her. In another case, another woman hauled an uber home but woke up the following morning to find her panties and underwear on the floor. The uber driver allegedly took her home and assaulted her there.
According to the report, there were 19 deaths caused by physical assault between 2017 and 2018.
Uber repeatedly attempted to defend its drivers saying from the beginning that 99.9 of all rides occur without incidents saying, “drivers have a right to have their experiences told, and we have a responsibility to stand with them.” It also contextualised its incidents of sexual assaults and homicide by citing national rates.
This report included information of both the reporting party and the accused party. It revealed that about 92% of the rape victims were riders, while 7% were drivers. The female individuals made up 89% of the victims while the male counterpart comprised about 8% of victims. Less than 1% identified as gender minorities.
Uber did not detail whether the reporting parties were victims but categorised the following as sexual assault: non-consensual kissing, non-consensual touching and attempted rape.
The ride-hailing company went on to announce its partnership with RapidSOS in 2018, a move it took to increase safety measures. RapidSOS is a company that sends details such as rider’s location and other relevant information to a local police agency when the rider uses the emergency button. Uber went ahead to begin an annual check policy to conduct checks on drivers.
The company ultimately discarded a policy that forced individuals with sexual assault complaints into signing a non—disclosure agreement.
While Uber is battling with the case of sexual misconduct in the US, it’s a case of rip-off in Nigeria. Whatever the case, the continuous criticisms will only succeed in dragging the firm’s name into the mud and perhaps, allow other competitors leverage on the incidents to shine. In some countries, uber is banned. It recently lost its licence to operate in London.