In October, Lyft released their first safety report – just three years later following rival Uber’s pledge to share sexual assault and abuse data. Approximately 4,158 reports of assault were filed between 2017 to 2019. Of them, 360 indicated rape, and 10 were fatal physical altercations.

Breakthrough Cases of Sexual Assault in 2018

After CNN reported on breakthrough sexual assaults in 2018, both ride-hailing companies got on board to take passenger safety initiatives. The investigation had an unsettling discovery. In California, a woman requested an Uber ride home after a night of drinking. When she had passed out and regained consciousness, her Uber driver, John David Sanchez, had raped her. This is just one of many grim accounts passengers face.

It was not the first time Sanchez had victimized someone. Police further looked into the case and found videos on his computer of him doing the same to other women and young teens for five years. According to CNN, he was one of 103 Uber drivers in the U.S. accused of assaulting their passengers.

Because there was no public data or adequate reporting features available on the app at that time, it was challenging to cross-examine with police reports. Since then, Uber and Lyft have updated their protocols to ensure resources to combat sexual assault. A personal injury lawyer would also tell you California laws are equally as strict on rideshare drivers. Policies require proper training and yearly criminal background checks.

Lyft’s Safety Feature Delay

It took a while for Lyft to implement changes on the app alongside the safety report. Sources indicate Uber is the reason for their delay.

Their ongoing issue with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) pushed back Lyft’s release date. They felt that their dispute needed to be resolved first, as a breach of anonymity had put the victim’s privacy at risk.

Though ride-hailing companies are doing more to protect the well-being of their customers, sexual assault cases continue to rise. If you or a loved one were victims to one, reach out to a ridesharing accident lawyer immediately.