In March of 2016 we wrote a post about the dangers of using a ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.
Later in April 2016, a district attorney in San Francisco sued Uber for falsely claiming they had used “the most comprehensive screen of would-be drivers available.” It was later revealed that these screenings did not include fingerprinting for past convictions, and Uber settled the case for $10,000,000.
Uber’s code of conduct at the time included the language: “Furthermore, commenting on appearance, asking overly personal questions and making unwanted physical contact is inappropriate.” Uber and Lyft have both come under scrutiny for their drivers who have committed violent acts or sexual assault.
A website called Who’s Driving You has been set up to track news related to accidents, sexual assault, and other serious incidents connected with Uber and Lyft. Reports for robbery and physical assault average about one to two incidents per month, whereas sexual assaults are nearly double that amount. Unfortunately, as with most sexual assaults, this number of reported incidents is most likely lower than the actual number of incidents.
Uber & Lift Assault Victims Hire Our Firm
As of July 2017, dozens of women have confided in our staff about their dangerous and inappropriate ride-sharing experience with Uber or Lyft.
If you are one of the millions of women who depend on a ride-sharing service to get where you’re going, be aware the next time you get into a car with a driver. The following data was collected from past and recent incidents, and could save you from an attack:
- In all cases the drivers were men
- In nearly all sexual assault cases, the women were intoxicated
- In all incidents of sexual assault, the rider was sitting in the front passenger seat
- In one incident, an intoxicated woman was “helped” to her door where upon entering her house she was raped by the driver
It used to be that riding in a taxi meant the patron sat in the back, on the right side of the car, and hardly ever in the front seat unless the back seats were in use. This deviation from the norm, while “friendly,” has unfortunately resulted in the increase of assault and unwanted touching.
Safe Ride-Sharing Tips
- Whenever possible, ride with a friend
- Do not let a female friend go home alone in an Uber or Lyft when overly intoxicated
- There is no reason to sit in the front seat of the car; sit in the rear at all times with your seatbelt fastened
- Do not let a driver walk you to your door. Be direct and ask them to stay with their car
Lastly, don’t be afraid to tell the driver you will call the police.
What Do I Do if I Have Been Sexually Assaulted by an Uber or Lyft Driver?
While it is a painful truth, know that you are not alone. If you have been a victim of sexual assault, there are resources to help you, including the caring staff at our firm. We are counselors who work with victims of sexual assault and violence, and will hold your story in the strictest of confidence. There is no obligation to hire us to handle your case, and your consultation with us is completely free.
If you are not ready to speak with a lawyer, but want to report the incident to police or speak with a counselor, we encourage you to look for a sexual assault victim center in your local area. If you’re not sure where to turn, we will gladly help you find the assistance you need. Call our firm at 619-995-6829.
You are not alone – we are here for you.