Uber reports 107 US deaths connected to car-hire app over two years

Both passengers and drivers have been the victims of sexual and physical assault, the report reveals.

The logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone (photo credit: REUTERS/SERGIO PEREZ)
The logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone
(photo credit: REUTERS/SERGIO PEREZ)
107 people lost their lives while using Uber to travel in America, in 2017/18, a safety report by the company has revealed. 16 of those killed were drivers for the company, while 21 were hailing a ride using the app. The remainder were third party road-users.
The report, which looks at a number of safety issues across the car-hire platform, further revealed 19 fatal physical assaults across the two years, eight of whom were passengers and seven were drivers, and 464 rapes during that time frame.
In total there were 5,981 sexual assaults reported including rape, attempted rape, and non-consensual kissing or touching.
The report was released in response to media interest in sexual abuse of passengers on the ride-hailing service. However, the company has taken pains to point out that drivers can also be victims of assault.
"The issues in this report are bigger than Uber and impact every corner of society as a whole," the report read. "The data itself may challenge assumptions. For example, while media coverage of the issue of sexual assault related to Uber has almost entirely portrayed drivers as the alleged offenders, our data shows that drivers report assaults at roughly the same rate as riders across the 5 most serious categories of sexual assault. Drivers are victims, too."
The company has also attempted to put the figures in context, pointing out that rape occurred in one in 5 million trips, accounting for just 0.00002% of total trips. Fatalities, meanwhile, occurred in one in 20 million trips, or 0.000005% of total trips.
Since 2017 Uber has focused on improving safety as part of its commercial offering, launching new technologies such as the In-App emergency button to connect drivers and passengers directly to 911 if needs be, improving driver background screenings and checks, overhauling their support staff training and tripling the size of their safety team.
The company has further pointed out that sharing negative data of this kind is not common among commercial enterprises, and has encouraged other companies to follow their example to increase transparency.
“Safety should never be proprietary, and it’s our intention to make an impact well beyond our own company, encouraging others to be more transparent with their data and to share best practices that can make everyone safer.” Tony West, Chief Legal Officer said.