Warning: this story comprises descriptions of sexual assault that some readers might discover disturbing.
Ten individuals had been killed in bodily altercations and over 4,000 individuals had been assaulted throughout Lyft rides from 2017-2019, the corporate revealed in its first-ever security report. Additionally throughout that interval, 105 individuals died in deadly car crashes involving a Lyft automobile.
The report was lengthy overdue, coming at the least two years after Lyft initially stated that it might be printed. It represents the primary set of publicly obtainable information relating to the protection of Lyft’s ride-hailing platform and the way it compares to nationwide US averages. The corporate is at present dealing with a number of lawsuits from victims of sexual assault and rape.
Whereas the numbers seem to color a darkish image of the ride-hailing trade, Lyft insists that severe incidents are “statistically uncommon” in its automobiles. “The kind of security incidents detailed on this report occurred on 0.0002 p.c of rides,” Jennifer Brandenburger, Head of Coverage Improvement and Analysis, wrote in a weblog submit, “and effectively over 99 p.c of all rides happen with none security report in any respect.”
Experiences of sexual assault in a Lyft experience elevated from 1,096 in 2017 to 1,807 in 2019. However the firm stated bookings elevated at a better price throughout that point, leading to a 19 p.c drop within the total incident price.
“Whereas security incidents on our platform are extremely uncommon, we understand that even one is just too many,” Brandenburger stated. “Behind each report is an actual particular person and actual expertise, and our aim is to make every Lyft experience as protected as we presumably can.”
Experience-hailing corporations have lengthy struggled to maintain riders and drivers protected from each other. In its security experiences, Uber disclosed that 3,045 sexual assaults occurred on Uber journeys in 2018 and one other 3,000 in 2019. Moreover, 9 individuals had been murdered throughout Uber rides, and 58 individuals died in auto-related crashes. Uber stated that drivers reported being victims of assaults at roughly the identical price as riders.
Lyft’s spin on the report, grim because the numbers could also be, is much like Uber’s take by itself information. Lyft, which companies fewer journeys than Uber, didn’t disclose the full variety of rides represented in its report, however at 0.0002 p.c, the incident price was the identical as Uber’s.
Driver teams criticized Lyft for a scarcity of consideration to security, particularly because it pertains to drivers. The report reveals that 10 drivers had been killed in deadly assaults. “Lyft frames these fatalities as anomalies,” the group Gig Employees Rising stated in a press release. “The reality is ten persons are lifeless. Their households are left with no assist from Lyft.”
In 2019, 19 girls sued Lyft for allegedly failing to forestall sexual assault perpetrated by drivers and for doing little to analyze the complaints. A California lady who says she was raped by a Lyft driver in 2017 additionally sued the corporate in September over failing to maintain riders protected, whereas 14 extra girls sued Lyft earlier in September over its dealing with of sexual assault complaints.
Uber and Lyft each conduct background checks and say passenger security is their high precedence. In addition they have largely tried to deal with this difficulty by means of know-how updates, like in-app “panic buttons,” which let riders immediately dial 911, or methods to report a driver for unsafe exercise.
Earlier this 12 months, the businesses joined collectively to announce a “first-of-its-kind” effort to share details about drivers who had been deactivated for committing severe offenses, together with bodily and sexual assault and homicide. Drivers are labeled as impartial contractors, not workers, that means they will — and ceaselessly do — drive for each corporations.