Uber safety concerns are on the rise after a recent news report says that more than 100 Uber drivers allegedly have sexually harassed or kidnapped passengers.
According to a recent investigation by CNN, there are at least 120 Uber and Lyft drivers that reportedly sexually harassed their passengers, which is alarming and has raised concern for the safety of Uber amongst its users.
The news network obtained and analyzed court reports, police documents and court databases in the U.S. from past four years and found that 103 Uber and 18 Lyft drivers have allegedly raped, forcibly touched, harassed or kidnapped passengers. Each of the 103 Uber drivers were “arrested, are wanted by police, or have been named in civil suits” in relation to the incidents, according to CNN.
Uber and Lyft have quickly become the two premiere ride-sharing services in the market, and have millions of customers each day. As both companies have grown and its services have become a popular alternative to regular taxi services, there has been an increase of reports of drivers committing crimes against passengers, or passengers filing complaints about inappropriate driver behavior.
New Uber safety features
Uber recognizes the problem and has announced changes to its platform to make it safer for its passengers.
In April, the company released a new Uber app safety features including a 911 button you can access directly from the app in case of an emergency. The company also announced they are strengthening its screening process and require drivers to have annual background checks.
Uber riders will now be able to set up to five friends and family members and make them “trusted contacts” in the Uber app. As a trusted contact, a rider can easily share trip details with people on the list to allow them to follow your trip in real time. To make sure you have access to these new features, make sure you’ve updated your Uber app.
In an effort to raise awareness about sexual harassment, Uber partnered with No More, an organization dedicated to ending sexual assault, and posted a video to inform drivers and customers about different forms of harassment and how to create a safer community. According to CNN, Uber has plans to launch community forums across the country to help raise awareness about sexual harassment.
“This is just a start and we are committed to doing more,” an Uber spokesperson told CNN. “Sexual assault is a horrible crime that has no place anywhere. While Uber is not immune to this societal issue, we want to be part of the solution to end this violence forever.”