As Halloween looms, please be careful when using the Uber app. Holidays historically see an uptick in sex assault incidents across the board. The biggest holiday dates on the calendar are coming up, starting with All Hallows’ Eve.
You may not know that there was a rather infamous Uber-related assault committed on Halloween night in 2015. A Denver driver, while intoxicated, sexually assaulted one of two passengers during the ride to their hotel (both were intoxicated and riding in the front seat), then followed them into their hotel room.
Since June 2022, when the last Uber Safety Report was released, a gush of new Uber sexual assault charges has overwhelmed the platform, including 998 sexual assault incidents, 141 of which were rapes. Grisly tales of Uber assault, mostly committed by male drivers on female passengers, have the makings of a feature horror film. We want to keep you out of that movie.
Yes, you’re right, Uber has continued to enhance its Safety Toolkit (2018 ongoing), including almost fail safe features in-app. If you’re conscious and even somewhat aware in the car, you should be able to sense trouble and press a red emergency button for help. But trusting Uber has never been a straight line, and passengers do frequently fall asleep.
If you were assaulted in an Uber, whatever happened, it was not your fault!
Survivors are still coming forward after 9,805 serious driver assaults reported in the first two Uber Safety Reports, and not counting at least 630 more since the last report was released in June 2022. And we are certain there are more that have yet to speak up.
We’re not saying you should be paranoid exactly – just hyper vigilant.
The tips we’ve covered several times before are especially true during holiday seasons, starting with Halloween, the spookiest night of the year. We are not beating a dead horse. The danger is relevant.
Uber Halloween safety reminders (please memorize):
- Always wait inside until the Uber driver pulls up and you can match the make, color, and model of the car that was intended to pick you up.
- Expect the driver to roll down the window and greet you, fairly cordially, by name, as well as introduce himself/herself – so you can match the name.
- If, at this point, ANYTHING feels off, cancel the ride. You can get another driver in 2-10 minutes. Say, the driver is grumpy or rude or has a fake smile, don’t get in. Don’t be shy. Say you changed your mind.
- Match the license plate as you walk around back to the passenger side, and – you know this – always ride in the backseat on the passenger side.
- Jump on the phone with a friend and audibly say you’re in an Uber and you should arrive in however many minutes.
- Always keep your Uber app open, so, if anything does start to feel creepy, you can hit the emergency button to get immediate, live help. P.S. If it feels creepy, it probably is!
- Sit in the backseat, even if the driver asks you to sit in the passenger seat. (Trust us, it’s safer.)
Coming forward after you’ve been attacked in a stranger’s car – letting us help you do it – can vastly change the way you remember your experience for the rest of your life. If you’ve ever been hurt by an Uber (or any rideshare) driver, don’t stay in the spider’s web. Tell someone your story.