Portrait of Young Woman Pretending to Act in Hitchcock Movie

Uber, Summer And Sexual Assault

It’s happening again.

 

4-26-17

Uber driver in Orange County, California accused of raping a woman passenger who’d been drinking at a work event and was returning home.

 

4/25/17

An Uber driver—driving under a fake name—in court for alleged sexual assault of a Boston College student reported to be inebriated.

 

4/22/17

Uber driver allegedly sexually assaults a woman passenger in Akron, Ohio. The victim, who had been drinking, reportedly awoke to find the driver sexually assaulting her.

 

4/20/17

Female University of Kentucky student reports sexual abuse by Uber driver. Two additional women students step forward to say they’ve had similar experiences with an Uber driver.

 

‘Who’s Driving You?’ has been compiling incidents involving Uber and Lyft drivers for four years. In our experience, with summer, comes a spike in news reports of sexual assaults by Uber and Lyft drivers against passengers.

The victims are typically young women who’ve been drinking. To be clear: The mention of alcohol usage is not to victim-blame. It’s to accurately portray the set of circumstances which reappear again and again. And to bolster our policy assertion that Uber and Lyft drivers are entrusted with the care of passengers who are vulnerable, even though the passengers are adults.

Uber and Lyft drivers have been tied to 222 sexual assaults or sexual-harassment incidents against passengers, according to news reports we’ve tallied. The vast majority of these victims are women.

According to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti sexual violence organization, two out of three sexual assaults go unreported to the police.  Since our website publishes news reports of sexual assault cases handled by police, these stories are likely a small portion of what’s occurred. Additionally, it stands to reason the news media hasn’t discovered and covered every alleged sexual assault attributed to Uber and Lyft drivers that’s been handled by police.

Meaning, our number, 222, is indicative of a larger figure.

Of late, the most telling information concerning the mental state of Uber drivers is that 97% will quit within one year. This is according to Uber’s own internal info.

What this means is that almost 100 percent of Uber drivers are simply trying the job on for size. Consider this for a moment.  Unlike most taxicab drivers, who are trying to make a living at a full-time job, Uber drivers have little incentive to behave properly to protect their job.

They’re not making money.

Then, of course, there’s Uber and Lyft’s ineffective commercial background checks of drivers. Massachusetts’ state-run background check of approved Uber and Lyft drivers found 51 registered sex offenders, 352 applicants with inappropriate “sex, abuse or exploitation” criminal histories, 958 applicants with “serious violent crimes” and another 601 applicants with “less serious violent crimes.”

So, mix inebriated women customers with Uber drivers whose full criminal histories haven’t been properly vetted by fingerprint background checks. Throw in casual, unsatisfied drivers who may be sexual opportunists. Finally, add in drivers who are full-blown predators and you get a sense of the serious problem.

To date: 222 alleged sexual assaults and harassments against Uber and Lyft drivers.

And it gets much worse in summer.

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