In its first-ever safety report about its rides — only US rides — Uber disclosed that 3,045 sexual assaults occurred during Uber trips last year, and 2,936 sexual assaults occurred in 2017. 235 of these assaults in 2018 were rape, and 229 of them in 2017 were rape. Uber notes that apart from the victim, the sexual assault may be reported by the driver, by a law enforcement officer, or by a guest rider. In fact, drivers were the accused in 54% of the sexual assault cases, riders were the accused in 45% of the cases, Uber said.
Uber has faced widespread criticism over the years for sexual violence and assault that occur during trips, and even further for its attempts at downplaying and hiding the incidents. Uber executives had obtained the medical records of a woman who had been raped during a Uber ride in New Delhi, for they doubted her story. The records were obtained by Uber’s VP for APAC, and shown by the then CEO and other top executives.
In 2017-2018, 19 people were murdered, of which 8 were riders, and 7 were drivers. In the same period, 107 died in car crashes during Uber rides. Uber says users took 3.1 million trips per day in the US between 2017-2018, 1.3 billion trips were taken in 2018.
Apart from rapes during Uber trips in 2017-18, there were four other categories of serious sexual assault, with the largest numbers for unwanted kissing or groping. Uber said it broke down the assaults into 21 categories, and identified the 5 most serious categories. These numbers may be higher than reported, since sexual assault often goes unreported.