The Uber problem and what is being done to fix the problem thanks to passengers, drivers, victim advocacy groups, and Uber plaintiffs’ lawyers in Georgia.
Technology has always influenced the way we live our lives. This fact has never been more evident than it is today. Businesses rely on technologies to produce, distribute, and sell products and services. Nearly everyone has a powerful smartphone with them at all times. It is truly a revolutionary time.
With new technologies come new challenges to overcome. Often times, the infrastructure to properly regulate the latest innovations is lacking. One area where this can be seen is the popularity explosion of ridesharing apps such as Uber. In fact, tens of millions use Uber every month.
More than 3,000 sexual assaults took place during rides in the United States in 2018.
The convenience and practicality of ride-sharing services is undeniable, so it is no wonder that its popularity has risen so rapidly. However, the apps do not go far enough to protect passengers and drivers. Recently, Uber released a report saying that more than 3,000 sexual assaults took place during rides in the United States in 2018.
235 rapes were reported in 2018—up from 229 in 2017.
That sobering number only tells a fraction of the story. 235 rapes were reported in 2018—up from 229 in 2017. That comes to an average of four reported incidents every week in the United States, and of those, 92% were allegedly committed by drivers. One rape is too many, and the prevalence of such serious sexual assault is shocking.
45% of accused parties were riders when it came to what are categorized as the five most serious types of sexual assault.
The report shows that both drivers and passengers are at risk. 45% of accused parties were riders when it came to what are categorized as the five most serious types of sexual assault. It is not surprising that Uber has seen an increase in related lawsuits in recent years.
While the statistics are overwhelmingly negative, there is a silver lining. Fallout from Uber’s sexual assault lawsuits and the damaging public relations that follow litigation have forced Uber to publicly acknowledge its safety problems by publishing this report. By acknowledging and being held accountable for sexual assault, Uber must now follow through by developing and implementing new safety features.
Some of these moves are reminiscent of what businesses have been doing for years. They include hiring over 300 employees to improve safety and increasing the rigor of driver background checks. Uber owes a duty to passengers and drivers to invest in such established precautions.
Uber has said publicly that they are committed to developing new technologies that can make both riders and drivers safer during the ride. Tony West, the chief legal officer of Uber, stated that the company is currently developing three new safety features.
Once these new safety features debut, Uber hopes to be able to check-in with riders should an abnormally long stop be detected during their trip. Riders will also be able to report safety issues to Uber during their trip rather than waiting until afterward. Uber is also working to integrate an emergency button into its app, as well as a way to text 911 operators.
Hopefully, these and other safety features will begin making a positive difference in the safety of rideshare drivers and users sooner rather than later. Thanks to the passion of Uber passengers and drivers, victim advocacy groups, and plaintiffs’ lawyers, change is on the way. Looking to the future, Uber must commit to addressing the challenges associated with its business head-on.
As technology continues to evolve and new issues accompany it, safety innovations and legislation will not be far behind. These developments will certainly be interesting to follow in the future, and, hopefully, the number and severity of related crimes will see a dramatic decline.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of Uber sexual assault in the metropolitan Atlanta area, contact a competent Uber lawyer in Georgia as soon as possible in order to preserve your rights, ultimately making the public safer by forcing Uber to make their service safer.