Recent studies have found that Uber may be hiding some of its crashes from safety records and reports. This leads many accident attorneys in Las Vegas to look for more details as they seek to hold ride-share drivers accountable for accidents they cause while working.
Uber Holding Back from Making Safety Reports
In 2013, the California Public Utilities Commission demanded that ride-hailing companies such as Uber start sharing annual reports about their safety and traffic data. However, this law included a confidentiality clause within the footnotes that protected Uber, preventing the public release of these required reports. Public outcry against the lack of transparency caused Uber to take a stronger focus on safety. This led to the release of a safety report covering 2017 and 2018.
In this latest safety report, Uber stated that from 2017 to 2018, they took 3.1 million trips on average each day across the United States. In that time frame, the company logged 2.3 billion trips. With so many trips in just a year, it’s not surprising that some of them ended up with safety concerns.
According to the report, only 1.4% of the trips included support requests regarding accidents or lost items. Uber claims that there are over 10 ways to file such a report. The company asserts that the low frequency of reports means the ride-sharing service is safe. Further, Uber reports that only 0.1% of trips had safety-related concerns, and only 0.0003% had a critical safety incident. While this would imply a safe ride-sharing experience, discrepancies in reporting could mean that customers are ata much higher risk when they participate in Uber services.
In 2017 and 2018, Uber reported 107 total fatalities across 97 crashes. That was a rate of 0.59 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2017, and 0.57 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2018. Around 90% of those crashes were in urban regions. Of the fatalities, 21% were drivers, not passengers or other third parties.
The report also showed a high number of sexual assaults. In fact, one out of every 800,000 trips resulted in some sort of assault. This led to measures to reduce this risk and increase reporting across the platform.
Uber Public Safety Report May Not Be Accurate About Fatal Crash Numbers
Even with this slightly increased transparency, discrepancies still exist. Uber’s US Safety Report did not report all of the traffic crashes the ride-sharing company was responsible for.
Of the fatal accidents discussed in the report, Uber only showed fatal accidents that were entered into the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Some Las Vegas accident attorneys assert that FARS data is not always the most accurate metric because many fatal crashes do not get entered. Similarly, Uber did not include fatalities that occurred when drivers were waiting for requests but were not actively driving.
How Serious Is the Discrepancy?
In San Francisco alone, as an example, over 150 lawsuits have been filed against Uber for wrongful injuries due to impaired drivers since 2013. This is just one municipality in one state, which indicates the problem is larger than the report indicates.
Non-Fatal Crashes Excluded from Report
Even more concerning is that non-fatal crashes were not included in the safety report. As many as 98% of injury accidents do not result in death, but injuries are often so severe that these crashes leave victims suffering from lifelong complications and emotional challenges. Since extensive medical bills can quickly add up and the injured are often unable to return to work, victims often require the services of an accident attorney in Las Vegas to help them recover compensation for medical bills and lost wages. Yet in spite of the far-reaching consequences, these accidents were completely excluded from the Uber public safety report.
The fact that Uber is hiding this accident data has made many Las Vegas accident attorneys look more closely into what else the company may be trying to hide. Customers are left to wonder if the ride-sharing service is truly a safe way to get around town. Clearly, there is more risk in riding in an Uber than is indicated by the low-risk numbers in the report. Greater transparency from Uber and similar companies is needed in the future so consumers can make wise, informed decisions about their transportation needs.