It is no secret that the invention of ridesharing applications for smartphones has revolutionized the market for vehicles for hire. It has provided a cheaper and more convenient alternative for the traditional taxi and limousine services. The app allows you to hire nearby private drivers by tracking your geo-location. But unfortunately, Uber related crimes are incresing at an alarming rate.
Although being able to match drivers to potential passengers with such accuracy and in such short spans of time has provided passengers with great ease of service, it isn’t one without flaws.
Uber Related Crimes
There is a lack of state and municipal safety regulations that are required for ridesharing competitors which raises scrutiny for the service.
One of the major causes of concern is the rise in crimes related to sexual assaults. Criminologists have reported that there have been over 3000 cases of sexual assault related to Uber rides last year; which is 4% more than the year before. This is an average of 8 cases per day. These incidents include both; passengers assaulted by Uber drivers, as well as drivers assaulted by passengers; with the driver being a victim about 45% of the times.
Among these, about 235 cases ended up in rape; which is an average of 4 per week. But when it came to attempts of rape, the passenger was the victim 92% of the times.
Tony West, Uber’s Chief Legal Officer, spoke to NBC Nightly News about these cases, saying, “Each of those incidents represents an individual who has undergone a horrific trauma. But I’m not surprised by those numbers. And I’m not surprised because sexual violence is just much more pervasive in society than I think most people realize.”
The report also said that there were at least 9 murders and 58 deaths due to car crashes related to the app.
John Roman, a senior fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago, a social science research organization has weighed in on the topic, saying, “There’s a big literature in criminology that finds people are less likely to commit crimes if they fear losing their job because of it.”
He continued that, “I would expect to see a drop in crime if drivers became employees.”
Recently, Uber has introduced features that are aimed at improving the safety precautions to increase the focus on the safety of the passenger as well as the driver. These include:
- Passengers being able to call 911 through the app
- More ways to confirm the driver’s identity
- Automatically transmitting details about their locations and vehicles they are travelling in to their emergency responders
- More precautions to prevent passengers from getting into wrong cars; including an opt-in pin feature that will be prompted before the ride begins.
A few other features are still in testing phase and may be put to public use any time this year.
Hopefully, with the precautions being taken by the company, the crime rates related to Uber are expected to reduce in the coming years. But it is still necessary to take precautions to prevent yourself from getting into such incidents.
Uber Accident Attorney | Attorney Javier Marcos
Attorney Javier Marcos is a personal injury lawyer in Houston who can help with an Uber accident. Call the office 24 hrs at 713.999.4444. Consultation is always free and there is no payment unless we win the case. As soon as the accident happens, call 911 to get help, then contact our law firm. We go to you wherever you are.
Español: Crimenes relacionados con Uber