SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Friday night, a night when many people are stimulating the local economy by visiting their favorite watering hole for a beverage or two.
And a night out usually means an Uber ride home. But Friday night, some riders are talking about a safety report Uber just released.
Over the course of 2017 and 2018, there were nearly 6,000 reported sexual assaults during or after an Uber ride ranging from groping to rape.
Uber completes 4 million rides a day, that’s roughly 45 rides a second.
Uber’s safety study found that of the sexual assaults being reported the most severe assault rape, was reported 464 times between 2017 and 2018 by riders and drivers.
That comes out to 1 in every 5 million rides.
Despite the low odds, the facts are leaving some riders to think twice about getting into an uber alone.
Liz Bontempo, a Springfield resident told 22News, “It’s definitely alarming I use Uber all the time and I never really consider that happening so now I’ll just have to buddy up. Safety first.”
Uber said it published the safety report in order to make the ride share app safe for everyone.
In that report, Uber’s chief legal officer, Tony tony aid, “Most companies don’t talk about issues like sexual violence because doing so risks inviting negative headlines and public criticism. But we feel it’s time for a new approach.”
According to the study, Uber is aware of law enforcement’s involvement in 37% of the reported rape cases.
That number may seem low, but Uber said the company doesn’t report complaints to law enforcement without the victims consent.
Uber also * said they will do a safety study of this kind every two years so the public will see how the company is addressing these issues.
Uber is taking some specific steps to improve safety for both drivers and passengers. Like being able to contact 911 directly in the app and doing continuous background checks on drivers.