Uber safety report reveals nearly 6,000 sexual assault complaints in 2 years
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Most people use Uber to avoid dangerous situations like drinking and driving, but could that choice make you vulnerable?
Uber just released its first-ever safety report, making public the amount of reported sexual and physical abuse instances. The company says it’s all about being transparent and keeping passengers and drivers protected.
According to the report, Uber received 5,981 reports of sexual abuse between 2017 and 2018. There were 464 reported rapes, and in that same timeframe, there were 19 fatal physical assaults.
Harry Dennery has been driving for Uber for six months. In that time span, he’s taken over 1,200 trips.
“I drive mostly during the day, five days a week,” Dennery said. “After 50 years of working I decided I had enough of the stress world, and I was looking for something to do without stress."
All of Dennery’s rides have ended safely, but he knows it’s a different story for other drivers and passengers. In August of 2018, Uber driver Michael Wallace got into a disagreement with his passengers about the price and was killed outside of an East Louisville hotel.
That’s not the only violent ride share incident with a local connection. In 2015, a dashcam captured Uber passenger and former Louisvillian Benjamin Golden pummeling his driver; he was charged with assault.
While those stories are alarming, they are very rare. Uber said 99.9% of their rides have been safety complaint-free.
“It’s still a problem and I thin both Uber and Lyft are working to do more,” said Dennery.
Dennery said the ‘follow along with’ option and an emergency button inside the Uber app keep him and his passengers from feeling at risk.
“I’ve actually met some really neat people driving Ubers and I think they are doing a good job of screening their people and providing those securities for us,” said passenger Vic Morrison. “Nothing like a good visit with someone you’ve just met!”
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