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Santa Barbara Uber Driver Sexual Assault Attorneys

Helping Those Victimized by an Uber Driver in Santa Barbara

Rideshare services have exploded in popularity since first taking off in 2009. These days you can find rideshare drivers in seemingly every town, no matter how small. Uber has even expanded into multiple other countries and thus no longer operates exclusively in the United States. That level of reach, however, brings risks.

Uber likes to emphasize that 99.9% of its trips are safe. But given that Americans use Uber billions of times in a year, that .1% can add up. In a recent report by Uber, it was found that thousands of instances of sexual assault were reported to the rideshare company. It seems that being 99.9% safe just isn’t enough, especially for those victimized by Uber and their drivers.

If you or a loved one have been sexually assaulted by an Uber driver in Santa Barbara, then you deserve compensation for your pain and suffering. Assaults leave behind a wave of trauma, that can take years of hard work to recover from. NordstrandBlack PC wants to help. Contact us at (866) 298-2041 and let’s discuss your case. Uber has a responsibility to keep its riders safe, and you shouldn’t have to fear assault when you get into a rideshare driver’s car.

Ubers and Sexual Assaults

Uber released a PDF Documentreport in recent years that details the sexual assault claims the company received regarding riders using the service in the United States over the course of a two year period. The report included claims from drivers and riders. In total, there were nearly 3,000 claims in the first year that the company started the report and over 3,000 in the second year.

That means that there were close to 6,000 reported cases of sexual assault in an Uber in a two year period.

There are likely even more cases that were not reported to the company, as reports are greatly limited by the categories of assault that victims are allowed to choose from. The five categories include:

  • Unwanted kissing of a nonsexual body part
  • Unwanted touching of a sexual body part (mouth, breasts, genitals)
  • Unwanted kissing of a sexual body part
  • Attempted, nonconsensual penetration
  • Nonconsensual penetration

Not included within the claim forms are options such as verbal harassment, threats, proportioning for sex, or masturbation. On top of that, the report exclusively looks at claims from the United States, despite the fact that Uber operates in 84 other countries, including Mexico, Canada, and the United Kingdom. This report clearly has an incredibly limited scope and doesn’t paint a full picture of what is happening in Ubers.

Who Are the Most at Risk?

According to the report, roughly 56% of the assault victims were riders, and 44% were drivers. Riders are still among the majority of those victimized, but only slightly. Drivers, it seems, are also at risk when working for Uber. The company has an equal responsibility to keep both its riders and drivers safe. In addition, the report noted that reports included instances of sexual assault committed by riders against other riders.

The report also included murders, of which there were 19 in the two-year span. Eight of these 19 were passengers, seven were drivers, and four were considered to be third-party. This means that they were outside of the vehicles or bystanders. Again, the numbers are split almost equally between riders and drivers, with riders still holding a small majority.

Holding Uber Accountable

Uber, after releasing the report, also announced that it was putting in efforts to make its rides safer. The company released an automated system that checked the background of drivers, searching through their driving history and criminal records. If the driver failed to pass the check, then the system dropped them as a driver and deactivated their account. After implementing the program, over 40,000 drivers were deactivated in the United States alone.

Uber also tripled the size of its safety team and is currently working with organizations such as the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

While these efforts are admirable, it doesn’t change the fact that the report doesn’t fully communicate the problems Uber is facing, nor fully addresses them. The company should have been implementing background checks for its drivers since its founding. Instead, they put profits over the safety of their customers.

Our Santa Barbara Injury Lawyers May Be Able to Help

If you have been the victim of an assault in an Uber in Santa Barbara, you deserve to be compensated for your trauma. The company may be liable for your pain and suffering, especially if they negligently hired a driver with a criminal history. We at NordstrandBlack PC want to help. Call our Santa Barbara personal injury lawyers at (866) 298-2041 and tell us about your claim. You may have a valid case on your hands.