Popular rideshare services, Uber and Lyft, are under investigation for a growing number of physical and sexual assaults by drivers against rideshare customers.
Both Uber and Lyft are currently under investigation for numerous allegations of assaults on rideshare passengers. Allegations from passengers include acts of physical assault, sexual assault, rape, inappropriate touching, verbal abuse, and harassment. Most of these allegations come from female passengers who allege misconduct by male rideshare drivers.
Alleged incidents date back to 2017 when a lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Northern California. The lawsuit accuses rideshare drivers of sexual assault, rape, kidnapping, misconduct, and harassment perpetrated against female passengers.
Due to a rising number of complaints across the country, there are major concerns about the safety of rideshare services. Complaints and civil lawsuits point out that rideshare companies are not doing enough to keep their passengers safe. According to a CNN study, there have been sexual assault accusations against at least 100 Uber drivers in the past four years. As a result, Uber and Lyft are under intense scrutiny and public pressure to perform stronger background checks on drivers and provide additional security measures to protect passengers.
In Los Angeles, an Uber driver was arrested and charged with sexual assault of an intoxicated female passenger who fell asleep. The driver drove the woman to a local motel where he assaulted her in a motel room. After the driver was arrested, police pointed out that the driver had five previous felony convictions for drug-related offenses in California.
In New Orleans, a Lyft driver was arrested and charged with second-degree rape and kidnapping of a 43-year-old female passenger who had been drinking at a local club with friends. Although the woman used a secure Lyft rideshare app to call for her ride, the driver altered the designated route and took the woman to his own home where he assaulted her.
As a state with a high tourist volume, Nevada personal injury lawyers have seen numerous cases of rideshare incidents that involve physical and sexual assaults and improper conduct by drivers. Although Uber and Lyft have made recent safety changes with secure apps, driver identification measures, and license plate security, more needs to be done to ensure thorough fingerprint-based criminal background checks on drivers. Uber and Lyft officials are also considering video and/or audio recordings of rides, as well as options for female passengers to request female drivers.