While rideshare apps provide quick and easy ways for people to get from place to place in and around Boston, there are unfortunately several risks and dangers that can arise for people when using these services. With the rise in popularity of rideshare apps Lyft and Uber, the number of sexual assaults reported by passengers in Massachusetts continues to rise. If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted while using Lyft, Uber or another rideshare service, consider hiring an experienced, compassionate Altman & Altman attorney to provide you with the empathetic, quality representation that you deserve.
Uber and Lyft Lawsuits
There have been several high profile lawsuits filed against both Lyft and Uber in recent years alleging that each company failed to put reasonable safety measures in place to protect patrons. In 2019, a group of more than 30 women sued Lyft for this reason. The same year, Uber released a safety report revealing that more than 6,000 incidents of sexual assault had been reported in 2017 and 2018. In cases like these, the courts have tried to determine whether the companies could have done more to prevent the attacks to determine if they are partially at fault for the attacks. More extensive safety measures that the companies may have taken may include a more thorough background check. A more thorough background check may reveal prior sexual assault convictions for someone applying to work for the service. This information could be used to help prevent or ban a driver with a previous violent conviction from mistakenly being approved to be a driver for the rideshare app.
What Measures Are These Services Taking To Increase Safety?
In response to public outcry about these attacks, both Uber and Lyft have committed to increasing and improving their existing safety standards. Some examples of these increased safety standards to combat the risk of sexual assault include:
- In-app emergency assistance
- Continuous background monitoring on drivers – which resulted in the removal of over 20,000 Uber drivers within just a year of implementing the practice
- Mandatory feedback for rides that had less than a 4 star rating
- Enhanced background checks
Even with these additional safety measures, people continue to report incidents of assault while using the services of both of these companies. Continue reading