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credit…Patrick T. Fallon for The New York Times

For nearly two years, Gacy Stokes-Oliver crisscrossed the San Diego highways late at night, serving food and dropping off passengers as a gig driver for DoorDash, Lyft and Uber. I preferred to work late due to less traffic, and never felt unsafe.

Then two accidents hit the business stakes. On a routine delivery trip last summer, her nephew Kishon, who also worked at DoorDash, was shot twice in the head by a passing driver. The 19-year-old survived, but the shooter was never found.

A few weeks later, while Mrs. Stokes Oliver, 44, was trying to toss cigarettes and 12 cans of soda into a DoorDash estate, a man standing near her followed her to the door. When he bent down to let go of the pack, she saw from the corner of her eye that he was carrying a revolver. She pulled out her phone to take a picture and stepped back. She sprinted back to her car and sped off, with her 10-year-old son in the back seat.

“This was the last day I went to DoorDash – it made me very uncomfortable,” said Ms Stokes Oliver, who later moved to Dubai. “I realized we weren’t safe.”

The danger faced by Mrs. Stokes Oliver and her nephew are stark examples of accidents compiled in a report released Wednesday by a driver advocacy group called Gig Workers Rising. The report said that at least 50 drivers working for companies such as Uber, Lyft and DoorDash have died while working in the United States since 2017.

Much attention has been paid to the risks that riding passengers may face when entering a stranger’s car, but the group of drivers and family members of the drivers who were killed say they hope the report will highlight an equally under-emphasized concern: the risks that riders themselves may pose to their passengers. drivers.

Although the report was based mostly on already public accounts in the news media, it is noteworthy in part because it is the latest tally of violence against drivers since Uber and Lyft released their own safety reports years ago.

In late 2019, Uber said more than 3,000 people were sexually assaulted, 9 were killed, and 58 were killed in accidents in 2018 in the United States in its first-ever safety report. Uber has pledged to release a new report every two years but has not yet released a second report. She plans to do so this spring.

Lyft’s first safety report released last year said about 1,800 people were sexually assaulted, four were killed in physical assaults, and about 50 were killed in accidents in the United States in 2019.

Uber, Lyft and DoorDash said in Bayanat that they built their platforms with safety in mind, with features like the ability to confidentially connect with people at ADT, the security company, or share location information through transportation apps.

It’s hard to compare how dangerous driving is in other occupational jobs, although the Bureau of Labor Statistics makes some fatal occupational injury statistics public. But Gig Workers Rising argues that the risks of gig work stand out more than just the number of deaths.

And because job drivers are classified as independent contractors rather than employees, they often receive less support from the companies they work for when something goes wrong, the report said.

Gig Workers Rising said that in some cases, family members of deceased drivers did not hear from the companies they traveled to, or did not receive death benefits or assistance with insurance claims or funeral services.

DoorDash said it has spoken with Ms StokesOliver’s family and has helped them file a claim through their insurance.

Last August, Isabella Lewis, a Texas Lyft driver, was killed in what appeared to be a random attack by a passenger who police thought was a terrorist. After being shot in the head, the man pulled her out of the car and drove over her as she fled in her car. He later died of injuries sustained in a shootout with police, according to news reports.

Ms. Lewis’ sister, Alyssa Lewis Brown, said the loss was not yet affected.

“It didn’t even occur to me that I would never see her again,” said Ms. Louise Brown, 23, who remembered her sister being caring and protective. “That kind of blows my mind. You think you have more time with people.”

She said she hopes her story and the driver’s death report will spur carriers to find a way to keep drivers safe, perhaps by thoroughly screening passengers before they can use services. She had never spoken to her, Lyft said.

“The least you can do is pay for the funeral,” she said. Lyft said she tried to reach Mrs. Lewis’s family but was unsuccessful.

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