Uber’s fatal accident tally shows low rates but excludes key numbers

TechCrunch | 12/5/2019 | Staff
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Uber’s just-released U.S. Safety Report sets forth in some detail the number of fatal accidents, and the good news is that the overall rate per mile is about half the national average. But the report makes some puzzling choices as far as what is included and excluded.

To create the report, Uber took its internal reports of crashes, generated by drivers, users, or insurance companies, and compared it to the national Fatality Analysis Reporting System, or FARS, a database that tracks all automotive deaths. In this way Uber was able to confirm 97 fatal crashes with 107 total deaths in 2017 and 2018 combined.

Company - People - Car - Crashes - US

As the company is careful to point out before this, more than 36,000 people died in car crashes in the U.S. in 2018 alone, so the total doesn’t really mean much on its own. So they (as others do in this field) put those accidents in context of miles traveled. After all, 1 crash in 100,000 miles doesn’t sound bad because it’s only one, but 10 crashes in a billion miles, which is closer to what Uber saw, is actually much better despite the first number being higher. To some this is blindingly obvious but perhaps not to others.

The actual numbers are that in 2017, there were 49 “Uber-related” fatalities over 8.2 billion miles, or approximately 0.59 per 100 million miles traveled; in 2018, there were 58 over 1.3 billion, or about 0.57 per 100 million miles. The national average is more than 1.1 per 100 million, so Uber sees about half as many fatalities per mile overall.

Crashes - Speeds - Average - Night - Areas

These crashes generally occurred at lower speeds than the national average, and were more likely by far to occur at night, in lighted areas of cities. That makes sense, since rideshare services are heavily weighted towards urban environments and shorter, lower-speed...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TechCrunch
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