SANTA FE, NM–Attorney General Hector Balderas opened an investigation into potential harms to New Mexican consumers and issued a consumer safety alert today regarding popular ride-sharing service Uber. According to a new report from the company, thousands of Uber drivers and passengers reported being the victims of sexual assaults, physical assaults, motor-vehicle accidents, and other harms while using the Uber app from 2017 through 2018. During that period, Uber users also reported approximately 6,000 instances of unwanted touching, attempted rape, as well as 107 traffic accidents resulting in death and 19 physical assaults resulting in death. In 2018 alone, 235 Uber users reported being raped while using the Uber app.
“Ride sharing companies absolutely have a duty to ensure the safety of New Mexican consumers, and I am investigating how the risks exposed in this report have impacted New Mexico,” said Attorney General Balderas. “Any consumer who has been personally or financially harmed by this or any other company should immediately contact our office, and we will investigate and hold them accountable.”
In response to the risks highlighted in the report, the Office of the Attorney General provides the following safety tips for using ride shares:
Waiting for your ride in a safe place;
Always match the car, license plate, and driver photo to the vehicle before getting in;
Ask the driver or passenger to confirm your name before beginning the ride;
When possible, passengers should ride in the back seat;
Don’t ride alone, and if riding alone always let friends or loved ones know where you are going by sharing your trip status with them;
Let your driver know that you’ve shared your trip status with others;
Only communicate with drivers and passengers via the apps to protect your personal information;
If you are in an urgent situation, call 911; and
Give feedback on your ride to alert the companies about unsafe or abusive drivers or passengers.
All New Mexicans are encouraged to contact the Office of the Attorney General if they, or anyone they know, has been the victim of physical or financial abuse. They can call 1-844-255-9210 or visit nmag.gov to file a complaint.