Sexual Assault in Rideshares. The Unknown Risks of Uber and Lyft

There has been an increase in rideshare services over the past decade. Uber and Lyft are the leading rideshare companies in the industry. While most people see these services as a fast, effective, and affordable way to get around, there is a dark side. Many people assume there is a risk of car accidents, but there are also some unknown risks. The most significant unknown risk of using a rideshare service is the possibility of sexual assault. Thousands of incidents of sexual assault happen annually. You should seek help from an Uber/Lyft sexual assault attorney.

Safety issues are rampant

Unfortunately, it is not until something terrible happens that companies make changes. Sometimes, these companies do not make changes until the issues cannot be ignored or there is media coverage. When a sexual assault or other safety issue is made public, riders become uneasy about using rideshare services. You assume hailing rideshare is safe, especially if the companies claim they offer safe rides. The most significant issue is while each company claims they have strict hiring guidelines, safety issues are rampant.

There are no safety procedures

The apps claim they have safety procedures, but they only come into consideration after there is an incident. Passengers can use the app to contact emergency services if they are in danger. Drivers are aware these features exist and might take action to prevent you from reporting a safety issue. You can also share your ride with a loved one so they can follow along.

You can also report the safety issue after it happens. Even with these safeguards, thousands of incidents still occur. These companies would rather spend money covering up these incidents and prevent them from getting to the public instead of investing in a solution. This is where an Uber or Lyft sexual assault attorney can help you. We will work to hold the company responsible for their actions.

Why are riders vulnerable to sexual assault?

Ride-sharing is contingent on strangers feeling safe with each other. This is an inherent risk since you have no idea who the person is or their background. When you are a rider, you are at the mercy of the driver. You are in their vehicle, and they can make you uncomfortable. You can ask the driver to stop the rider or use the app. However, there is no telling how the driver will react to this request.

Sometimes, riders feel a more significant risk to their physical person if they say something instead of staying quiet. This could be intentional, as predators may wait until you are in a vulnerable position to make their move. Suppose you are on the highway when the driver begins to sexually harass you. In this situation, you could suffer more harm if you ask the driver to stop the vehicle.

Another hidden risk is sometimes the driver is not the person who is registered to the vehicle or the account. You often see this in Uber Eats, but it can also happen when picking up passengers. Various risk factors contribute to sexual assault in Uber or Lyft rides.

Rider safety initiatives

In response to the thousands of safety reports Uber and Lyft received, they have added new features to protect passengers from violence and harassment. The newest feature is the panic feature that allows riders to alert the company of a safety issue directly. It will also notify local authorities so they can take appropriate actions.

Another initiative is the sharing safety program that is accessible to all rideshare companies. This program allows all companies to share information about drivers accused of harassment or assault. They will also share charges and convictions of assault, sexual assault, or sexual harassment.

Another initiative is sharing ride information with others. When you start your ride, you can share it with someone in your contacts. They can follow along and see where your ride is in real-time. This can be helpful if you are in an unsafe situation since your friend can act if you cannot. You can also contact customer support to report you feel unsafe.

Reporting rideshare sexual assault

You want to report your situation correctly for the best chance of justice in criminal and civil court. One of those steps is reporting the incident to the rideshare company. Uber and Lyft give you reporting options in the app that vary slightly. To report with Uber, do the following:

  • Tap Help
  • Tap help with a trip
  • Pick the relevant trip
  • Tap report safety issue
  • Tap report a safety incident involving a driver

Instead of filling out this complaint, you can call support using the help page. Here, you can talk to a customer support person. To report an incident to Lyft, take these steps:

  • Tap the menu
  • Tap ride history
  • Select the correct ride
  • Hit get help or request a review
  • Select report driver behavior
  • Click unsafe or threatening behavior

Lyft has virtual customer support so you won’t be talking to someone over the phone. Sometimes, if there is a request for additional information, you will get an email or phone call. Another way to report the incident is through your Uber/Lyft sexual assault attorney.

Call Kwartler Manus, LLC, for a confidential consultation

When you are unsafe in an Uber or Lyft, you will want to take adequate steps to get justice. You may be aware of some risks with rideshares, but hidden risks are challenging for you to prepare for. Speak to the compassionate legal team at Kwartler Manus, LLC. by scheduling an initial consultation.

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