Uber is a popular rideshare service, but the people working for the company are contractors. Uber does do background checks on drivers, but it is unclear how extensive they are.
When you hire an Uber, you have to trust that the company did an effective job vetting the driver. You will have to get into the vehicle with this stranger, which opens the door to potential safety risks. The safety record of the company does show sexual assault is an issue it is facing.
In 2020, Uber had a significant reduction in business due to the world health emergency. Even so, the report it released on sexual assault incidents was concerning. Despite lowered rider numbers, 141 cases of rape occurred. In total, for the period covering 2019 to 2020, the company said it received 3,824 reports from customers of sexual assault incidents.
Comparing this period to the previous report from 2017/2018, the numbers are down. The prior report was 5,981 reports of sexual assault. However, it is difficult to compare the two periods considering what was happening in 2020 that changed the industry for at least part of the year. It leads to questions of whether incidents decreased or if the number only went down because the number of riders decreased.
Uber does admit that even one incident is too many. It wants to ensure riders feel safe and are not exposed to sexual assault. In response, the company has a range of safety measures it uses to help protect riders, including constant monitoring of the criminal backgrounds of drivers. The Uber app also has some safety features for riders so that they can report an emergency if they feel unsafe with a driver.