There were more than 1,800 sexual assaults on Lyft trips in 2019, the company said on Thursday in its first ever safety report on sexual and physical assault, fatal accidents and other serious incidents.

Lyft Safety Report was long expected in the ride hailing industry as the company faced lawsuits from victims of sexual assault while driving. It pledged to publish its sexual assault statistics in 2019 when Uber released a similar report.

“Although security incidents are incredibly rare on our platform, we know that even one is too many,” said Jennifer Brandenburger, head of policy development and research at Lyft, in a blog entry on Thursday. “Behind every report there is a real person and a real experience.”

The 1,807 sexual assaults during Lyft trips in 2019, the most recent year for the data in the report, were a 64 percent increase from 2017, the company said. But as the number of trips rose even faster, overall safety improved, Lyft said, with the sexual assault incident rate falling 19 percent over that period.

Four people were killed in physical assaults and 49 killed in car accidents in 2019, Lyft said in the report.

“The type of safety incident described in this report occurred in 0.0002 percent of trips, and well over 99 percent of all trips occur without a safety report,” said Brandenburger.

The statistics are consistent with similar incidents on the Uber platform. Uber said in its 2019 safety report that the number of sexual assaults on its platform last year represented just 0.0002 percent of all trips.

Rachel Abrams, an attorney who represents around 1,000 sexual assault victims in Uber and Lyft trials, said Lyft’s report was long overdue. “We have all been waiting for this,” she said.

“They’re not putting the security measures in place to prevent this and it’s just going to keep increasing,” added Ms. Abrams. She said Lyft should put video surveillance in its vehicles to monitor security issues.

Lyft said it is working to make its platform as safe as possible, demanding rigorous background checks from drivers, and providing drivers with safety check-ins and emergency assistance on off-course journeys.



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