Uber rideshare services have reduced the number of drunk drivers behind the wheel, but Uber passengers are still at risk for car crashes, physical violence, sexual assaults, and kidnappings.
Uber, one of the largest and most popular ride-share services around the world is under investigation for crash injuries and fatalities, fraudulent actions, and serious criminal offenses including physical and sexual assaults on passengers. Since Uber operates in more than 60 countries and 400 cities worldwide, these issues have triggered concerns and actions by traffic safety organizations, law enforcement agencies, and criminal investigators.
Drowsy driving is a major problem across the country and Uber drivers are not immune to the dangers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 100,000 recorded car crashes are related to driver fatigue each year, resulting in approximately 1,600 annual fatalities. The lack of sleep, sleep disorders, prescription medications, and alcohol contribute to drowsy driving behaviors that impair driving abilities. NHTSA research shows that commercial drivers who operate buses, taxis, rideshare vehicles, and large trucks are at greater risk for accidents caused by drowsy driving.
There have been numerous reports of imposters posing as Uber drivers in cities across the country. Police reports include accusations of Uber drivers luring passengers into their cars, then committing alleged robberies, kidnappings, physical and sexual assaults, and even murder. To prevent harm from Uber imposters, the company has recently instigated increased safety measures such as driver recognition apps that include the driver’s photo, car badge number, and trip request information received.
Physical and Sexual Assaults
Most sexual assaults have been committed by male drivers against female passengers, but physical attacks on male passengers have also been reported. Male passengers have reported fistfights, getting hit with physical objects, and unprovoked attacks by Uber drivers. Female passengers have reported sexual harassment, inappropriate language and touching, and rape. Several states have launched criminal investigations into alleged physical and sexual assaults that show a history of hiring drivers with criminal records by Uber. The company frequently fails to perform appropriate background checks on drivers and monitor drivers for inappropriate conduct after they are hired.
In 2017, there were numerous personal injury claims and lawsuits filed against Uber regarding car crashes and physical and sexual assaults on passengers. As a result, Uber’s existing CEO resigned, and a new CEO was hired to address rising problems for the rideshare company.