More than 3,000 people were sexually assaulted during Uber rides last year.
The disturbing numbers, released by the company on Thursday, have many concerned about the safety of using Uber and other rideshare apps — especially since the data came out the same week that 19 women sued Lyft, saying drivers for the company sexually assaulted them.
But it’s not just passengers who are being assaulted. According to Uber’s data, 42 percent of those reporting sexual assault were drivers. “Drivers are assaulted as much as the passengers are,” Michael Bomberger, an attorney who represents the women suing Lyft, told Vox.
Passengers may be more vulnerable to certain types of assault. For example, Bomberger said he has heard from multiple riders who fell asleep in an Uber or Lyft and woke up to find a driver attacking them. And 92 percent of people who experienced sexual assault involving penetration were passengers, according to reports to Uber.
But drivers — especially the roughly 19 percent of Uber drivers and 30 percent of Lyft drivers who are women — often report being groped by passengers, Bomberger said. And since they are independent contractors for gig-economy companies, they lack some of the protections available to taxi drivers and other workers, like partitions separating them from passengers.
While advocacy groups have praised the Uber report for drawing attention to the issue of sexual violence in its cars, the report also highlights something more widespread: For workers around the country, sexual misconduct is a workplace safety issue. And though both Uber and Lyft have promised reforms, there’s evidence that for some, the platforms may not be safe places to work. (SOURCE)