Uber recently released an accident report that reflects well on the company. That is hardly a surprise; the company is in the business of making itself look good.
What is most interesting about the report is what is missing. Uber is like the student who brings home papers with high grades, but “forgets” any papers with low marks.
What is in the Uber report
The Uber report says that its fatal accident rate is about half the national average. Uber wants everyone to think that these are impressive numbers.
For 2017 and 2018, Uber reported 97 fatal crashes and 107 total deaths. That translates, in 2017, to about 0.59 fatalities per 100 million miles driven. For 2018, the numbers were 0.57 fatalities per million miles.
Uber notes that the national average is 1.1 fatalities per 100 million miles. The message is that Uber drivers are safer than other motorists.
What is not in the Uber report
Uber’s self-analysis does not include nonfatal accidents. The company says nonfatal accidents are difficult to document. While that may be true, it is a glaring omission from the report. If Uber had favorable information about nonfatal accidents, it would publicize those numbers.
A second issue is Uber’s definition of an “Uber-related” crash. The company includes mileage only when a driver is picking up a rider or has a rider in his or her vehicle. However, the company excludes the miles that drivers rack up looking for customers. This means that an unknown number of accidents are not part of the report. The lack of comprehensive statistics slants the numbers in favor of Uber.
What you need to do
Uber is giving itself a lot of credit. Some of that credit is misleading because the report is incomplete. The company is putting public relations ahead of public safety.
None of this helps you if you are in an Uber accident; you are up against a huge corporation. Your best defense is trusting the actual truth, not the numbers.