How you can use technology to protect yourself.
Growing up, your parents probably told you not to get into a stranger’s car. But today, that’s the entire concept of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. As you might imagine, there have been safety issues with ridesharing throughout the years — but not as many as you might think.
In fact, according to the most recent data Uber and Lyft have released, over 99.99 percent of rideshare trips occur without any safety issues. But that doesn’t mean you should be careless. To stay safe either as a rideshare driver or rider, trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to call 911 if you feel you’re in danger.
Generally speaking, ridesharing is more than 99.99 percent safe whether you’re using Uber or Lyft. However, issues do occur. In 2019 and 2020, for example, there were over 4,800 safety incidents during U.S. Lyft and Uber rides.1 But out of billions of trips total, these companies have safety incident rates of 0.0005 percent and 0.0003 percent, respectively.2
Ridesharing comes with risks like sexual assault, car crashes, traffic fatalities, and physical assault. In the most recent data, Uber had lower rates in all categories when compared to Lyft, except for physical assault.
|Safety issue, 2019-2020||Number of Lyft incidents||Percentage of all Lyft trips||Number of Uber incidents||Percentage of all Uber trips||Difference, Lyft vs. Uber|
|Sexual assault (includes the below)||1,807||0.0002%||2,826||0.0001%||72%|
|Attempted nonconsensual sexual penetration||114||0.00001%||284||0.00001%||8%|
|Nonconsensual kissing of a sexual body part||203||0.00003%||448||0.00002%||22%|
|Nonconsensual kissing of a non-sexual body part||293||0.00004%||650||0.00003%||21%|
|Nonconsensual sexual penetration||156||0.00002%||388||0.00002%||8%|
|Nonconsensual touching of a sexual body part||1,041||0.00013%||2054||0.0001%||36%|
|Physical assault fatalities||4||0.0000005%||20||0.000001%||-46%|
|Motor vehicle fatalities||49||0.000006%||101||0.000005%||31%|
Overall, in 2019 and 2020, Uber’s safety incident rate was 46 percent lower than Lyft’s.
One of the ways these rideshare companies keep their safety incident rates low is by screening drivers.
Sexual assault rates were 72 percent higher for Lyft than Uber, according to 2019 and 2020 data from both companies.
In addition to screening their drivers, Uber and Lyft both have built-in technology in their apps that keeps riders safe on trips.
Even though rideshare safety incidents are rare, thanks to the driver screenings and technology Uber and Lyft have in place, there are still tips you should follow to increase your protection even more.
In 2020, 63 percent of people killed in motor vehicle accidents were drivers, while 27 percent were passengers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).5
Hopefully, you’re able to always use rideshare services without incident. However, if you need to report an Uber or Lyft driver, you can do so via their respective mobile apps or websites.
Since laws about rideshare companies differ by state, whether you should call a lawyer following an accident or safety incident depends on where you live. In New York, for example, you may be able to sue following an Uber accident caused by one or more of the following issues.
Although Uber and Lyft have safety features built into their apps, there are third-party safety apps you can download as well.
|App||App Store rating (out of 5)||Google Play rating (out of 5)|
Just like the Uber and Lyft apps, the Life360 app lets you share your location with your “Circle,” get help with an SOS button, and reach 24/7 emergency assistance. The company also offers protection against identity theft and roadside assistance with some plans.7
|Feature||Free Plan||Gold Plan||Platinum Plan|
|Amount of stolen funds reimbursement||$0||$25,000||$1,000,000|
|Amount of stolen phone protection||$0||$250||$500|
|Data breach alerts||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Family driving summary||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Identity theft protection||No||Yes||Yes|
|Individual driver reports||No||Yes||Yes|
|Number of days of location history||2||30||30|
|Number of miles of free towing||0||5||50|
|Number of place alerts||2||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|SOS help alert||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Free trial length, days||0||7||7|
|Cost per year||$0||$99.99||$199.99|
|Cost per month||$0||$14.99||$24.99|
Noonlight is a similar app to Life360, with much more functionality on iPhones than Androids. It has a safety button, and with the Advanced Profile, it can share your medical information with first responders.8 Noonlight is significantly cheaper than Life360 but has fewer features.
|Features||Basic Plan||Instant Access Plan||Total Protection Plan|
|Safety button||iOS and Android||iOS||iOS|
|Timeline||iPhone only||iPhone only||iPhone only|
|Safety network||iPhone only||iPhone only||iPhone only|
|Advanced Profile||iPhone only||iPhone only||iPhone only|
|Apple Watch app||No||Yes||Yes|
|Sync Uber and Lyft accounts||No||Yes||Yes|
|Google Home service||No||No||Yes|
|Sync IFTTT applets||No||No||Yes|
|Free trial length, days||No limit||30||30|
|Cost per year||$0||$60||$120|
|Cost per month||$0||$5||$10|
If you want the most protection, Life360’s got you covered. You can save money with Noonlight, but keep in mind that the available features are similar to the functions already built into the Uber and Lyft apps, and the Android usability is limited.
Whether you’re a rider looking to feel safer on trips or a driver wanting to learn about rideshare insurance, it’s important to do whatever you can to protect yourself from crashes, assaults, injuries, and death. That said, Lyft and Uber trips are overwhelmingly safe, so if you take the proper precautions and use the technology at hand, you probably won’t have any issues when ridesharing.
Generally, Uber is safe for female passengers. Be aware that in 2019 and 2020, there were 2,826 incidences of sexual assault on Uber trips in the U.S., accounting for 96 percent of the company’s total safety incidents. Out of these 2,826 sexual assaults, 388 were nonconsensual sexual penetration, or rape, a total of 14 percent of all sexual assaults. Of these 388 victims, 81 percent were women, as women are more likely to fall victim to sexual violence.
However, for both genders, sexual assault only occurred on 0.0001 percent of all Uber trips in 2019 and 2020, and safety incidents generally only occurred on 0.0003 percent of all trips. All in all, the chances of someone being raped on an Uber trip from 2019 to 2020 was one in 5 million. Across all rides, 99.9997 percent occurred without safety incidents, according to Uber’s safety report.
As of March 2023, you cannot choose a female driver for Uber in the U.S.
There is not enough data available to determine whether a cab is safer than an Uber because cities do not report assaults by where they occur, such as in a rideshare service or taxi.
Uber was safer than Lyft, as of 2019 and 2020, due to its decreased incidences of sexual assault and motor vehicle fatalities. In that time period, Uber had a sexual assault rate 72 percent lower and a motor vehicle fatality rate 31 percent lower than Lyft. However, one area in which Lyft is safer than Uber is physical assault. Uber’s physical assault rate was 46 percent higher than Lyft’s.
US Safety Report 2019-2020. Uber. (2022, Jun 30).
Community Safet Report. Lyft. (2023).
RAINN Partners with Lyft to Create a Culture of Safety and Respect. RAINN. (2019, Sep 10).
ADT Further Expands Mobile Reach with Lyft Partnership. ADT. (2019, Oct 14).
Fatality and Injury Reporting System Tool (FIRST). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2023).
New York Uber Accidents. Uber Lawyer. (2023).
Membership Plans Built for Modern Life. Life360. (2023).
Caring humans looking out for you, day and night. Noonlight. (2023).