Uber & Lyft Safety Tips for Women
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Below, our expert Uber and Lyft accident attorneys will provide legal insight to the dangers and risks associated with women who use rideshare services and what solutions are available to reduce the chances of falling victim to sexual assault while using these services.
How Safe Are Uber and Lyft Services for a Female Passenger?
Uber and Lyft have both had their fair share of negative exposure when it comes to reports of sexual assault.
Uber released their second safety report in 2022, which covered 2019 to 2020 data. Within those two years, the rideshare company received 3,824 reports of sexual assault in the United States. 43 percent of those accused of sexual assault were riders, while 57 percent were Uber drivers.
The most common acts of sexual assault included in these submitted reports were the following: nonconsensual touching of sexual body part, nonconsensual kissing of nonsexual body part, nonconsenual kissing of sexual body part, attempted nonconsensual sexual penetration, and nonconsensual sexual penetration.
Lyft released their first, and only, safety report in 2021. The data included in this report is from the years of 2017, 2018, and 2019. Within these three years, the rideshare company had a total of 4,158 reports of sexual assault, including 360 reports of rape, submitted through its rideshare app. According to the data provided, the most common form of sexual assault that occurred was nonconsensual touching of a sexual body part.
Although both of these rideshare companies did not indicate the gender of the victims, data provided by sexual assault organizations can support the claim that women are the most common victims of sexual assault.
According to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), 90 percent of adult rape victims are women. Furthermore, young women, ranging from 18 to 24 years old, are far more likely to be victims of sexual assault or rape compared to women in general.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center has also released their own set of data that covers sexual assault in the United States. Based on the information provided, 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men have experienced some form of sexual assault or harrassment throughout their lifetime.
Even though Uber and Lyft continue to establish safety guidelines to help reduce the likelihood of sexual assault, along with other forms of violence, it is not entirely effective in preventing such unlawful actions from occuring during trips.
For instance, in December of 2021, an Uber driver sexually assaulted a woman passenger who had fallen asleep in the back seat of his vehicle. This incident took place in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Although both rideshare companies provide safety resources for their female passengers, it is still not enough to protect them from sexual assault. It is essential for female passengers to take the time to learn about safety tips that will help keep them out of harm’s way when using a rideshare service.
With that being said, our knowledgeable Uber and Lyft accident attorneys have created a list of safety tips that female passengers should consider taking the next time they request a rideshare driver to pick them up.
13 Safety Tips for Uber and Lyft Female Passengers in 2022
- Make sure that the license plate number on the app matches the vehicle license plate number of the rideshare driver that is picking you up regardless of whether the model number or make is the same as described.
- Utilize the safety features on the rideshare app. There is no need to share your personal phone number with the rideshare driver. All communication with your rideshare driver should be done through the app only.
- Ask the rideshare driver for their name. You should also ask what the name of the person is that they are waiting to pick up.
- If you suspect suspicious activity by the rideshare driver, make sure to speak up. Do not feel anxious or nervous when notifying them that you have a friend or family member who is keeping an eye out for your safety during your trip.
- In addition to noticing suspicious behavior, if you believe you are in danger under the care of the rideshare driver, contact the police through the rideshare app. This will allow the police to have access to your real time location and destination. Providing them with such information will give them an easier time of reacting quicker to the situation.
- Always be respectful and never antagonize your rideshare driver. If you do, you may stir up unnecessary conflict that can lead to an argument or physical violence.
- If possible, try to travel with a friend or family member. This especially applies to those who are planning on using rideshare services for nighttime travels. If you are unable to find someone to share a ride with, you can share your location with friends or family.
- Minimize your time standing outside. If possible, remain in the building until your rideshare driver is present.
- Trust your judgment if you believe something is wrong. Contact a friend or family member and express your concerns to them.
- If your rideshare driver is showing acts of negligent behavior and/or provided a dangerous rideshare service, you should report it to the respective rideshare company. By doing so, you will be saving the life of the next passenger(s).
- Create a strategy that will allow you to escape if you are put in a dangerous position. Sitting in the back seat is the most idealistic spot to be in as you will have access to two exit doors.
- You should check to see if the child lock is not being used while you are entering the rideshare driver’s vehicle.
- Once you have entered the vehicle, you should remain aware of your surroundings at all times. This will give you self confirmation that the rideshare driver is actually taking you to the destination you had inputted into the rideshare app. You should also examine the rideshare driver’s behavior to check for any suspicious activity that may potentially harm your safety.
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