Uber admits 3,000 people made sex attack allegations against drivers in the US

Uber has received more than 450 complaints of rape in the US during 2017 and 2018.

Nearly 6,000 reports of sexual assaults were made to the ridesharing company, which is facing increasing pressure to improve its safety.

The newly released safety report, which details alleged attacks on both passengers and drivers, is the first time Uber has publicly disclosed the figures.

Passengers made up nearly half of those accused of sexual assault.

The report also revealed 19 fatal assaults related to the company over the same two-year period.

Sexual assaults were defined as ranging from ‘non-consensual sexual penetration’ to unwanted kissing or touching.

The total number of reported attacks rose in three of the five categories last year.

But Uber says the frequency of attacks dropped by 16% due to an overall increase in passengers.

It said that while such incidents are rare, ‘every report represents an individual who came forward to share an intensely painful experience’.

The ride-hailing service also provided statistics on fatal crashes, revealing that 107 people were killed in 97 collisions across the two-year period.

But Uber said its fatality rate fell from 0.59 to 0.57 per 100 million milles travelled, which they say is ‘about half’ the US average.

It comes after the company’s licence to operate in London was revoked due to safety concerns after it was found that unauthorised drivers uploaded their pictures to different people’s accounts in at least 14,000 journeys.

The move by Transport for London was met with outrage by drivers in the capital who said unfair weight is being given to black cab drivers.

One of its rivals Lyft, which has sought to position itself as a more socially responsible business, is facing several lawsuits over sexual assaults and rapes that allegedly occurred in vehicles affiliated with the California firm.

Twenty women brought cases against the company in San Fransisco on Wednesday after another 14 complaints were filed in September.

Representing all 34 claimants, Mike Bomberger said: ‘The bottom line is that Lyft does not take safety of their passengers seriously, and never has.’

He recounted the story of Caroline Miller, who he said was raped by a driver after going out to celebrate her birthday.

Bomberger said: ‘As a consequence of her assault, they offered her a refund of her ride.’

The total number of such lawsuits is not known, but the backlash led Uber and Lyft to enact various measures to improve passenger safety.

They are trying to make it more difficult for people to impersonate drivers and have tightened controls to detect convicted criminals.

A button to report a problem during journeys has also been added.

But Bomberger said steps taken so far are not enough and called the idea of a panic button ‘a joke’.

He added: ‘Who can operate a smartphone when they are being sexually assaulted?

‘It is unrealistic to expect someone being assaulted to do that and they know it.’

Bomberger has advocated the systematic recording of rides, better cooperation with authorities and more effective background checks.

He said ridesharing companies ‘know what features can be added that work’.

The lawyer added: ‘They have refused to make any changes until we started filing lawsuits.’

A spokeswoman for Lyft said the company understood that women face ‘disproportionate risks’ when travelling.

She added: ‘We recognise these risks, which is why we are relentless in our work to build safety into every aspect of our work.’

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