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Uber's Safety Report Reveals Around 6K Cases Of Sexual Assault

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Ride-hailing giant Uber released its first safety report on Thursday, disclosing that it received a total of 5,981 reports of sexual assault incidents during its ride-hailing trips in the U.S. in 2017 and 2018. This includes 464 reports of rape incidents in the period.

However, Uber noted that the data for the years 2017 and 2018 is also a time frame in which an average of more than 3.1 million ride-hailing trips took place each day in the U.S. It said 99.9 percent of Uber trips were without any safety-related issue.

Uber and its rival Lyft are facing numerous lawsuits related to personal safety issues during their ride-hailing trips.

According to data provided by Uber, the company received a total of 2,936 reports of sexual assault incidents in 2017, and the figure rose to 3,045 reports in 2018. The number of rape incidents - the most serious category of sexual assault - reported in 2018 were 235, up from 229 in 2017.

The total number of Uber trips in the U.S. were 1.0 billion in 2017 and this rose to 1.3 billion in 2018.

Based on the total number of trips in both years, Uber said it saw a nearly 16 percent decrease in the average incident rate of the five most serious sexual assault categories reported.

Preliminary estimates for the first half of 2019 showed that the same five categories of sexual assault reflected a decrease of 17 to 20 percent compared to the full year of 2018, according to Uber.

Uber noted that while media coverage of the issue of sexual assault related to the company has almost entirely portrayed drivers as the alleged offenders, its data shows that drivers are also victims and reported assaults at roughly the same rate as riders across the five most serious categories of sexual assault.

The company claimed that across these five categories of sexual assault, riders account for 45 percent of the accused parties.

Uber said it has launched several safety features in the past two years, in response to criticism of personal safety issues.

These include an in-app emergency button that connects riders and drivers directly to 911 with the simple press of a button, and Ridecheck - a tool that can detect rare events such as unexpected long stops on a trip or possible vehicle crashes.

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