Uber has announced the addition of a feature to its platform that will require drivers go offline for at least six hours following every 12 hours of work. The idea behind this break is to encourage rest and help reduce the risk of car accidents posed by drowsy driving.
According to the website Tech Crunch, this technology is similar to existing features required in certain states. However, unlike state-specific drivetime limits, this latest addition is company wide and impacts all Uber drivers. Lyft, a rideshare alternative to Uber, beat the company to the punch with drivetime limits. This rival requires 6 hours of rest for every 14 hours of drive time.
Most of Uber’s drivers will not be negatively impacted by a reduction in hours. According to the company, nearly 60% of its drivers provide rides for 10 hours or less each week and are at no risk of hitting 12 hours in one day. However, this feature has the potential to have a positive impact on everyone on the road as it removes what could be hundreds of sleep-deprived drivers from the equation.
What’s so Dangerous About Drowsy Driving
What’s so dangerous about drowsy driving? Everyone has been a little sleepy, at least once or twice, while driving. In fact, a study picked up by the CDC found that 1 in 25 drivers self-reported falling asleep while driving in the month prior to answering a survey – 48% of those dosed off between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. They were lucky. They didn’t hurt themselves or anyone else with their negligence. Thousands, every year, do not fare nearly as well.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates around 83,000 car accidents are caused by drowsy driving every year. Accidents caused by sleepy drivers result in an average of 37,000 injuries and nearly 900 deaths annually. An additional 45,000 accidents result in serious property damage. Clearly, the scope of the problem is immense. But how can it be avoided?
Rideshare programs like Uber and Lyft implementing hour restrictions help keep everyone on the road safer. But there are still millions of drivers in the Los Angeles area – and chances are at least a handful of people in cars surrounding yours are sleepy, inattentive, or otherwise disengaged from the act of driving at any given time. It is vital that you watch for signs of drowsy driving so that you can better avoid drivers who may have needed a bit more sleep.
Signs of sleep-deprived driving include:
- Erratic and unpredictable maneuvering
- Drifting out of lanes
- Wildly inconsistent speed
Observing a drowsy driver and observing a drunk driver are similar experiences, both visually and in terms of risk. If you see someone driving as if they were sleepy or intoxicated, it is best to call CHP and report the behavior. It is equally important to give that person room by backing off or carefully maneuvering around them. If the actions of a sleepy driver make collision unavoidable, it is best to call Kirtland & Packard right away to learn how we can help you get fair compensation for all of your injuries.
Serving South Bay and Torrance from our office in Redondo Beach, the car accident lawyers at Kirtland & Packard have decades of combined experience and a long and proven ability to win hard cases. If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in any type of accident, please call 310-536-1000 to schedule a free consultation and learn how our personal injury attorneys can help.