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Uber shares safety numbers

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 12/06/19, 11:13 am

Riders and drivers reported more than 3,000 sexual assaults during Uber rides in 2018. The company released a report on Thursday revealing safety violations on rides in 2017 and 2018. Uber hailed the report as the first of its kind and reiterated its commitment to safety and transparency.

Is it safe to call an Uber? The incidents reported represent less than one-tenth of 1 percent of Uber’s 1.3 billion rides in the United States last year. The report includes acts against riders and drivers, both of whom have complained the company doesn’t do enough to protect them. “I suspect many people will be surprised at how rare these incidents are; others will understandably think they’re still too common,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi tweeted about the report.

Dig deeper: Read my report in The Sift about the 2017 departure of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who took much of the blame for giving the company a bad reputation.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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  • Nat Manzanita
    Posted: Fri, 12/06/2019 02:08 pm

    Something's wrong with the math here, and really should be clarified/fixed. One tenth of one percent is 1 in 1000 -- high enough that I'd call Uber very unsafe if I believed that actually represented the occurrence rate of sexual assault! But if there were 3,000 assaults in 1.3 billion rides, the actual rate is more than 400 times smaller: about 1 in 430,000.

  • Web Editor
    Posted: Fri, 12/06/2019 04:26 pm

    You are correct. We have edited the article to clarify the percentage.

    Posted: Fri, 12/06/2019 04:03 pm

    Uber should have a panic button or something to protect the driver, as well as a panic button to protect the rider. 


  • OldMike
    Posted: Mon, 12/09/2019 02:16 am

    I’ve read quite a bit lately about high turnover and poor driver retention numbers. This is happening with Lyft as well as Uber. One result is that there are some pretty marginal characters driving for these services. 

    And why are they having so much trouble getting and keeping drivers?  The pay is terrible. The current business model is unsustainable because rates are too low and the services give the drivers too small a share. 

    Sooner or later there won’t be enough people willing to wear out their vehicles while making less than minimum wage, and either the rates will have to go way up or these businesses will disappear.