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Sexual assaults during Lyft rides have seen significant uptick, report says

Jami Ganz, New York Daily News on

Published in News & Features

Sexual assault became an even more prominent issue at Lyft in recent years, according to the company’s community safety report released Thursday.

Although reported sexual assaults made up less than 1% of the ride-share giant’s completed U.S. trips in 2019, the latest year for which the report accounts, there was a significant uptick between 2017 and 2019.

“Most serious safety incidents ... are statistically very rare,” the report noted, adding, “Behind every number, there is a person who experienced that incident. Put simply, even one of these incidents is too many. That is what drives our relentless work to continuously improve safety for riders and drivers.”

“From 2017 to 2019, over 99% of trips occurred without any reported safety incident,” read the report. “The safety incidents referenced in this report account for 0.00002% of all trips.”

In 2019, the company received 1,807 reports of sexual assaults during Lyft trips, compared to 1,255 in 2018 and 1,096 in 2017.

All numbers recorded came from reports made directly to the company, brought to its attention via law enforcement, or found through “proactive investigation,” like monitoring social media.

 

The company also broke down types of sexual assault reports, such as nonconsensual kissing of a nonsexual body part, nonconsensual touching of a sexual body part, nonconsensual kissing of a sexual body part, attempted nonconsensual sexual penetration, and nonconsensual sexual penetration.

Most of the reported assaults fell under the category of nonconsensual touching of a sexual body part. Lyft received 1,041 such reports in 2019 — making up 0.00014% of all completed U.S. trips, up from 661 in 2018 and 598 in 2017.

The company’s report also detailed statistics for motor vehicle fatalities, per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, and fatal physical assaults — which stood at 4 in 2019, up from 3 in 2017 and 2018.

The company in early 2020 formed the Safety Advisory Council, which it says it consults about background check processes, ride verification technology, and more.

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