scorecardLyft reports 1,807 sexual assaults during rides in 2019
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Lyft reports 1,807 sexual assaults during rides in 2019

Madison Hoff   

Lyft reports 1,807 sexual assaults during rides in 2019
Tech2 min read
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
  • Lyft published its first safety report this week, which includes the number of sexual assaults during rides that have been reported.
  • In just 2019, there were 1,807 sexual assaults that took place during Lyft rides.

Lyft published its first safety report this week, sharing safety data from 2017 to 2019. And the numbers show that there thousands of sexual assault reports during rides in just those three years.

Lyft's Community Safety Report includes the number of motor vehicle fatalities, fatal physical assaults, and sexual assaults in these three years. There were 1,807 sexual assaults in 2019, 1,255 in 2018, and 1,096 in 2017.

"The incident rate of sexual assault categories included in this report decreased by 19% during this time period," Jennifer Brandenburger, head of policy development and research at Lyft, wrote in a blog post.

Lyft "included any incident reported in 2017, 2018 and 2019, regardless of when the incident was reported to have occurred" because "sexual assault is chronically underreported, and it can sometimes be months or years before a survivor is ready to come forward and report what happened - if they choose to do so at all," the report said.

The sexual assaults were divided into five categories. Based on this, "non-consensual touching of a sexual body part" made up most of the reported sexual assault reports in 2019, with 1,041 reports. It also was the most common kind of sexual assault reported in the two previous years; there were 598 reports in 2017 and 661 reports in 2018 of this.

CNN notes in its own reporting of this new release of these figures that there were 360 reports of rape over these three years of data.

In addition to the sexual assault numbers, the new safety report notes that there 105 motor vehicle fatalities and 10 fatal physical assaults from 2017 to 2019.

Brandenburger said in the blog post that these incidents are not a common occurrence for the ridesharing company. "The type of safety incidents detailed in this report occurred on 0.0002% of rides, and well over 99% of all rides occur without any safety report at all," Brandenburger said.

Both Lyft and Uber are facing lawsuits regarding sexual assault. Insider's Anna Cooban reported that lawyers at San-Francisco based law firm Levin Simes Abrams filed or have pending at the time of reporting almost 1,000 lawsuits against either Uber or Lyft. These lawsuits claimed drivers sexually assaulted and harassed passengers.

Cooban added that some of the women with these claims said they were assaulted while asleep or intoxicated.

Lyft detailed in the new report some of its safety practices, including annual driver screenings and background checks for applicants, including doing a criminal search. Lyft also noted in the report its "24/7 Critical Response Line for riders and drivers to report safety incidents on the Lyft platform."

Another way the company has tried to keep users safe is through sharing data about banned users with Uber. Insider's Kate Duffy reported earlier in March that ride service companies Uber and Lyft announced its Industry Sharing Safety Program to share with each other information about deactivated drivers that have been banned because of sexual assault or physical assault resulting in death.

"We will never stop working to make Lyft the safest platform for our community, and we will continue to consult with experts, collaborate with industry-leading partners and develop safety tools based on insights from riders and drivers," Lyft wrote in the report.