Ride-hailing services have been gaining in popularity over the years. Between the chance to earn money driving or find a cheap ride, ride-hailing is becoming the go-to choice for many Australians. In particular, Uber is leading the pack when it comes to ride-hailing services.
According to a 2019 report, nearly 4.3 million Australians 14 or older travelled in an Uber in an average three-month period during 2018. This marks a 10.2 per cent increase over the 2 million average users in 2016. This accounts for 20 per cent of the population
Unfortunately, the opportunities afforded by ride-hailing services have brought about problems as well. In particular, both drivers and riders have been the victim of sexual assault during their time with Uber.
The Uber Safety Report results
Uber recently released its 2017-2018 US Safety Report, the first comprehensive publication of its kind issued by the company. The 84-page report highlighted the risks associated with driving or riding in an Uber, as well as the steps the company is taking to improve its services by reducing the chance of these risks.
Although the report focuses specifically on the U.S., its findings can be applied to Australia, if only by substance and not specific numerical data. Additionally, the report only covers Uber’s internal findings, but the findings can most likely also be applied to other ride-hailing companies as well.
The key findings revealed that out of 2.3 billion rides in the U.S. during 2017-2018, the company received more than 5,000 reports of sexual assault. Nearly all the reports (89 per cent) of sexual assault were filed by women. The report further stated that its data showed drivers and riders report assaults at roughly the same rate. Based on preliminary data, Uber estimates a 17-20 per cent decrease compared to 2018.
While 99.9 per cent of rides ended without safety-related incident, the company is acknowledging the problem exists and is taking steps to resolve it. This includes adding additional layers to the driver screening process and improving the background check.
These findings show that people need to protect themselves and be aware of their situations, no matter the case.
Being the victim of sexual assault can be a traumatising time. The legal team at Gerard Malouf & Partners help ensure victims get the compensation they deserve. Contact us today to learn more.