While there have been a number of instances in which Uber drivers and riders have been assaulted while using the rideshare app, those instances only represent a small percentage of overall Uber experiences.
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Uber has clearly earned its users' trust over time, seeing as it has accumulated more than 5 million drivers and 103 million monthly average users, according to a 2020 report from app news website The Business of Apps. Still, riders and drivers have to be vigilant while sharing a car with a stranger or strangers.
Uber became the first rideshare company to ever release a safety report in December 2019.
The report found that while 99.9 percent of more than 2 billion trips between 2017 and 2018 were completed "without any safety-related issue at all," Uber reviewed 5,981 sexual assault cases during that time, including hundreds of alleged rape reports. The company said at the time that it is working to stop the violence from continuing.
Of those 5,981 reports, riders made up 45 percent of the perpetrating -- or accused -- party while drivers made up 54 percent, and a third party made up 1 percent, the assessment showed.
Uber pointed out in its report that sexual assault spans all industries, and "no community is immune" to such behavior.
"There were approximately 20,500 instances of unwanted sexual contact in 2018 in the military, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military," the assessment noted.
The rideshare giant conducts background checks on all of its drivers; gives passengers their drivers' license plate and car model information before they arrive; prompts users to check that information before getting in a car; shows users a live map before they meet drivers and during their trips; and offers a safety button for riders, according to its website.
Uber also now keeps drivers' and riders' phone numbers private to ensure the safety of both parties.
More recently, the company implemented a set of new rules for riders and drivers to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic, including the use of mandatory masks.