The survey of over 900 drivers conducted last month by researchers at the Strategic Organizing Center—the largest-ever national survey of rideshare driver safety—details an all-out safety crisis for Uber and Lyft drivers, with workers of color the most deeply affected.
The survey shows that drivers are regularly threatened, harassed, robbed and physically assaulted, and comes as Uber shareholders are preparing to vote at the company’s annual meeting next month on a proposal calling for an independent, third-party audit of driver health and safety.
“One time a rider opened one of the back doors of my car while we were driving on the freeway,” said Reyna Hernandez, a 60-year-old Uber driver in Los Angeles. “I feared for my life and the safety of my passenger, and I ended up having to call the police. There have been other times when riders will throw things around the car while I’m driving, but I can’t do anything about it. My ratings could end up going down if I say anything, and that could lead to me being deactivated. If I get deactivated, I would have no way to pay for food, rent and my other bills.”