A closer look at data about assaults and crashes with ride-hailing apps and ride-sharing services will show how much risk is involved in these services. With accusations of assault and abuse coming from Uber and Lyft rides, as well as concerns about serious crashes involving Uber and Lyft drivers, riders need to decide if these ride services are safe options. Though drivers and driving records are carefully vetted, enlisting the help of a stranger to grab a ride does carry a measure of risk.
Risk of Assault on Uber and Lyft Rides
One potential danger from Uber and Lyft rides is assault. Though these companies generally perform thorough background checks on their drivers, employees can still have unscrupulous intentions that go undetected. In a recent survey from Alarms.com, 23% of women indicated they had uncomfortable encounters with drivers in an Uber, and 15% of Lyft riders reported the same. While this risk is somewhat small, it is a risk that riders must consider before hiring a driver through a ride-hailing app.
Crash Risks Alarmingly High for Uber and Lyft
Since ride-sharing services hit the market in full force in 2011, fatal crashes have increased by 2% to 3% in the United States. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration compared to the dates rideshare companies launched in specific cities show a correlation between these ride-sharing apps and a jump in fatal crashes. In addition, these services increase the risk of congestion and decrease the use of public transit options in large cities when they launch.
Though no specific connection between Uber and Lyft and increased crashes has been shown, there is an indirect correlation between these services and a spike in fatality accidents.
Uber Found Hiding Crash Data
Company-released reports indicate that Uber is a fairly safe option for ride-sharing. However, all data in these reports comes from the company directly, and it has been the source of controversy.
In 2019, Uber was accused of hiding crash data to make their service look safer than it really was. When the company released its 2017 and 2018 crash data, it found 97 fatal crashes and 107 total deaths in 2017 and 2018 combined. This makes it appear that the ride-sharing service is fairly safe, with less than 50 fatal crashes per year on average. However, this data ignored non-fatal accidents, which can have a life-altering impact on victims. Uber was also allowed to define what was an “Uber-related” crash.
According to the report, only crashes that occurred when a driver was en route to a pickup or when the driver had a passenger were recorded. Crashes that occurred during times when the driver was waiting for a job were not counted in the data. Some claimed this was an example of Uber hiding crash data to make the ride-sharing service seem safer.
Still, even if some crash data was hidden, the overall statistics are relatively low for crashes involving Uber. This indicates that the ride-sharing app is a fairly safe option for people to consider.