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More than 1,200 sexual assault survivors helped since 2023.

Uber and Lyft Sexual Violence Statistics

Explore detailed data and statistics on incidents of sexual violence in rideshare services. This page offers an in-depth look at the prevalence, patterns, and safety concerns faced by riders and drivers.

Survivor Advocate

Reviewed By: Melissa Reitberg

Uber Sexual Assault Attorney

Key Takeaways

  • Although both Uber and Lyft claim to have vetting protocols for hiring drivers, including background checks, there is still risk to using rideshare services
  • Uber’s first safety report revealed 5,981 sexual violence or assault allegations in 2017 and 2018 — 3,045 of which were in 2018. Lyft’s first safety report was released in 2020 and showed similar percentages of sexual violence against rideshare passengers.
  • If you or someone you know has experienced rideshare sexual assault, you have legal rights and options including filing a civil complaint to seek compensation

Rideshare Sexual Assault Statistics Overview

Over the last ten years, we have seen the rise of the rideshare market with Uber and Lyft being the top two largest ridesharing companies in the United States.

Ridesharing made the concept of hailing a cab easier, faster, and more affordable for people around the world, including in more rural areas where cabs and other forms of transportation are more limited.

Ultimately, the ridesharing industry relies on strangers feeling comfortable enough to get in another stranger’s car and a stranger feeling comfortable enough to pick up strangers and drive them around.

There are many inherent risks in that equation — from a history of bad driving to violent criminal pasts and everything in between.

When it comes to being a rideshare user or passenger, being in another person’s vehicle can make passengers somewhat of a captive, because they are stuck in a moving vehicle with someone.

Although these companies tout themselves as an easy, reliable, and safe form of transit, thousands of incidents of harm from sexual assault to murder have happened over the years in rideshares.

When stories about violence or sexual assault against a driver or passenger are made public, it makes passengers uneasy and forces ridesharing apps to invest further in trust and safety. It’s unfortunate that it takes harm happening to get these companies to do something, which is why it is important to provide individuals with statistics and data about ridesharing safety so they can make informed decisions.

Each company proclaims strict hiring guidelines for all its drivers, who are legally designated as independent contractors including background checks and DMV driving checks. The apps themselves have features that allow passengers or drivers to contact emergency services discretely if they feel in danger.

However, thousands of incidents of harm are still happening and it’s essential to shed light on the facts about Uber, Lyft, and sexual violence

Last Date Modified
May 24, 2024

Uber Sexual Assault Statistics

After a 2018 CNN report disclosed dozens of sexual violence crimes perpetrated by Uber drivers, the company began an exhaustive investigation and compiled their first US safety report, released in 2019.

Uber has released two US Safety Reports – the first for 2017-2018 and the second for 2019-2020 — which showed thousands of severe safety incidents happening every year.

The reports categorized the offenses and noted that the sexual assaults (non-consensual sexual contact) fell into one of five categories:

  • Kissing a non-sexual body part
  • Kissing a sexual body part
  • Touching a sexual body part
  • Attempted sexual penetration
  • Sexual penetration

Uber’s Second US Safety Report Revealed:

According to Uber’s second US Safety Report, they reported the following statistics related to sexual abuse, harassment, and assault for the combined years of 2019-2020.

In total, across all five categories, there were 2,847 total reports of sexual violence in an Uber in the United states for the years of 2019 and 2020.

While Uber claimed sexual assaults decreased by up to  38% between their first and second US Safety Reports, rideshare usage dropped 75% at times in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Uber Sexual Assault Data for 2019

513

Non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part

202

Attempted non-consensual sexual penetration

1526

Non-consensual touching of a sexual body part

338

Non-consensual kissing of a sexual body part

247

Non-consensual sexual penetration

Uber Sexual Assault Data for 2020

137

Non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part

82

Attempted non-consensual sexual penetration

528

Non-consensual touching of a sexual body part

110

Non-consensual kissing of a sexual body part

141

Non-consensual sexual penetration

Uber’s First US Safety Report Revealed:

Uber’s first US Safety Report collected and reported on data from 2017-2018. We have totaled the numbers of both years in the Uber sexual violence stats below.

Uber Sexual Assault Data for 2017

570

Non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part

307

Attempted non-consensual sexual penetration

1440

Non-consensual touching of a sexual body part

390

Non-consensual kissing of a sexual body part

229

Non-consensual sexual penetration

Uber Sexual Assault Data for 2018

594

Non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part

280

Attempted non-consensual sexual penetration

1560

Non-consensual touching of a sexual body part

376

Non-consensual kissing of a sexual body part

235

Non-consensual sexual penetration

Lyft Sexual Assault Statistics

Lyft published their first and only (as of March 2024) US-based safety report in 2021, which included data about three categories of safety incidents reported on the Lyft platform in the United States for three years: from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2019.

In total, the report revealed that Lyft Received 4,158 Sexual Assault Reports from 2017 to 2019.

They have not reported data from 2020 – 2023 and it is unclear if and when they plan to release their next US Safety Report.

The report categorized sexual assault in the same way that Uber had previously used, to keep reporting language and the data the same across the industry. To repeat, the reported categorized the offenses and noted that the sexual assaults (non-consensual sexual contact) fell into one of five categories:

  • Kissing a non-sexual body part
  • Kissing a sexual body part
  • Touching a sexual body part
  • Attempted sexual penetration
  • Sexual penetration

2017 Lyft Sexual Violence Statistics

93

Non-consensual sexual penetration

107

Attempted non-consensual sexual penetration

131

Non-consensual kissing of a sexual body part

598

Non-consensual touching of a sexual body part

167

Non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part

2018 Lyft Sexual Violence Statistics

111

Non-consensual sexual penetration

99

Attempted non-consensual sexual penetration

172

Non-consensual kissing of a sexual body part

661

Non-consensual touching of a sexual body part

212

Non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part

2019 Lyft Sexual Violence Statistics

156

Non-consensual sexual penetration

114

Attempted non-consensual sexual penetration

203

Non-consensual kissing of a sexual body part

1041

Non-consensual touching of a sexual body part

293

Non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part

Rideshare Sexual Assault Statistics FAQs

Sexual abuse in a rideshare can include sexual abuse, assault, or harassment. Some examples of rideshare sexual abuse include inappropriate comments or questions, groping or unwanted touching, sexual assault, and rape.

In general, far less than 1% of rideshare rides result in sexual assault and abuse reported to Uber or Lyft. However, that still means thousands of individuals experience harm every year including sexual assault and rape.

If you are a rideshare passenger, you can read our rideshare safety guide for full details about ways to help protect yourself. Some of the top rideshare safety tips include asking the driver’s name when entering the vehicle, rolling down your window enough to fit your arm out if needed, and screenshotting details if riding alone and sending to a friend.

Each year, rideshare companies help facilitate over a billion rides across the United States. While there is a small chance at harm happening, the devastating effects it can have on someone’s life is immense. So if you’re going to use rideshares, you should understand what to look out for and what to do if something happens.

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