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Ridesharing and Taxi Safety: Information on Assaults against Drivers and Passengers

GAO-24-106742 Published: Feb 22, 2024. Publicly Released: Feb 22, 2024.
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Fast Facts

Many people rely on ridesharing and taxi services, but there's growing concern about assaults on drivers and passengers. While there are no federal requirements to collect data on assaults in rideshare and taxi vehicles, we found:

6 federal databases have some data on assaults on drivers—one database reported 19 fatal assaults in 2019

3 ridesharing companies publicly report on fatal physical assaults and the most serious types of sexual assaults, reporting about 4,600 such sexual assaults in 2019

5 taxi companies we spoke to collect but do not publicly share incident data—which can include assault data

hand holding up a phone displaying a ridesharing app on the screen with taxis in the background

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What GAO Found

Ridesourcing (also referred to as ridesharing) and taxi services help meet the transportation needs of many people in the U.S.

Taxi and Ridesourcing Transportation Services

Taxi and Ridesourcing Transportation Services

There is no federal requirement to collect data specifically on assaults against drivers and passengers of ridesourcing vehicles and taxis. Some federal and non-federal sources collect data on such assaults, but the available data cannot fully describe the extent of assaults in these industries. Several factors result in the data not being comparable or complete for this purpose. These factors include the varied intended uses of the collected data, the use of different definitions and codes, and underreporting of assaults. More specifically:

  • Six federal databases contain some information on assaults in the ridesourcing and taxi industries. These databases contain more data about assaults against drivers than against passengers. Although limitations exist with these data, a few databases provide some data that can be used to report on assaults against drivers for 2019 and 2020. For example, a census of occupational fatalities reported 19 fatal injuries or illnesses of workers in the ridesourcing and taxi industries in 2019 related to assaults (i.e., intentional injuries by another person). Data for 2020 were not published because they did not meet publication criteria.
  • Three ridesourcing companies whose representatives GAO interviewed collect data on assaults against their drivers and passengers, and they voluntarily issue reports with information on the extent of the most serious types of assault. The companies report data on fatal physical assaults and use the same definitions to categorize the five most serious types of sexual assault. The three ridesourcing companies reported that about 4,600 incidents of the five most serious types of sexual assault occurred related to trips arranged through their digital applications (app) in 2019, the only year for which all three companies publicly reported data. The five taxi companies whose representatives GAO spoke with collect complaint and incident data, which can include assault data. The five taxi companies' representatives said these data are largely for internal purposes and are not reported publicly. Representatives from the five companies said that they have experienced few or no assaults in 2019 and 2020.

Why GAO Did This Study

Ridesourcing and taxi companies offer similar transportation services to the public. Ridesourcing companies connect passengers and drivers by offering pre-arranged trips through an app. Taxi companies can conduct either pre-arranged or street-hail trips. Media outlets, advocacy organizations, and others have raised questions about the safety of drivers and passengers of ridesourcing vehicles and taxis.

Sami's Law, enacted in January 2023, includes a provision for GAO to conduct a study including the incidence of physical and sexual assaults against ridesourcing and taxi drivers and passengers in calendar years 2019 and 2020. This report describes the extent to which data on such assaults are collected and available.

To conduct this work, GAO reviewed federal database documents, such as data dictionaries, and interviewed officials from federal agencies including the Departments of Justice, Labor, and Health and Human Services. GAO also examined laws, regulations, and documents on ridesourcing and taxi oversight for five states and five localities, selected based on whether they collected data and to vary in location, among other factors.

In addition, GAO reviewed documents and websites for selected ridesourcing companies and selected taxi companies. GAO also interviewed representatives from three ridesourcing and five taxi companies. GAO selected these companies to ensure variation in size (e.g., revenue, number of trips) and location.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Repko at (202) 512-2834 or and Derrick Collins at (202) 512-8777 or

Full Report

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AssaultBackground investigationsDatabase management systemsLaw enforcementSafetySexual assaultsSexual harassmentSexual misconductSexual violenceTransportationTaxicab driversPhysical abuse