In a safety report released Thursday, Uber said sexual assaults in its ride-hailing vehicles were down but its rate of traffic deaths is up.
The company’s safety report, which covers 2019 and 2020, is the second-ever report released regarding safety incidents.
In all, the 78-page report found 3,824 incidents “across the five most severe categories of sexual assault and misconduct” on its U.S. platform, while 20 people were killed in assaults and 101 died in crashes.
“Behind every data point is a personal experience, and sometimes pain and loss, that must be acknowledged,” Uber released in a statement. “That’s why we continue to invest in safety, building new features to help prevent incidents and challenging the entire industry to raise the safety bar.”
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Sexual assault and misconduct incidents reported were down from 5,981 in 2017 and 2018, but Uber said it logged far fewer trips in 2020 because of the pandemic – 650 million compared with 1.4 billion in the year prior.
Deaths from assaults were nearly identical to the previous period, as were fatal vehicle wrecks, which killed 107 people in 2017 and 2018, Uber reported.
The increase in the fatal car crashes reflected an overall deadlier year on the roads in 2020, Uber said, backed by data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Uber’s first safety report was released in 2019.
The company said the new review was delayed due to the pandemic in 2020.
In early 2020, when COVID-19 began sweeping the world, Uber said rides fell by about 80% as people limited their travel to essential trips.
“Although the impact of COVID-19 on sexual assault generally remains unclear, data from various federal sources shows a significant increase in violent crime during the pandemic, including murder, which according to the CDC increased nearly 30% in 2020,” the report reads. “Government data also revealed that 2020 was the deadliest year on American roads since 2007 as a result of a rise in risky behaviors such as drunk driving, speeding, and not wearing a seat belt.
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.
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