According to recent studies by the National Sleep Foundation, driving a motor vehicle while fatigued can have the same effects as being drunk. In fact, a 2010 report by AAA revealed that one in six fatal car accidents could be attributed to drowsy driving, and one in eight crashes that resulted in someone being hospitalized were due to drowsy driving. Yet, as many as 41% of all people surveyed claim they have fallen asleep at the wheel at some point.
Research even shows that being drowsy behind the wheel can create physiological effects that are similar to intoxication. For instance, being awake for 24 hours reduces your reaction time and judgment and leaves you with the same net effect as if you had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .10%. That is well above the legal limit. With this in mind, Uber has taken actions to reduce the number of drowsy driving incidents involving their drivers.
Uber’s Attempts to Curb Drowsy Driving
Uber recently unveiled its newest safety feature – mandatory rest. Recent reports from the company reveal that many rideshare drivers spend long hours driving and often log more than 100 hours per week. The New York Post reports that the new program will prevent drivers from being able to log in to the app after 12 hours of driving.
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How the Feature Works
In many ways, the program will mimic existing hours of service requirements to which commercial drivers and professional taxi drivers must adhere. The smartphone app will track hours of driving. Once the driver begins approaching 12 hours of being logged into the app and driving, it will begin sending warning notifications to let the driver know that time will soon be up.
When the driver reaches a 12-hour limit, he or she will be prevented from logging in or accepting rides through the system. It is a digital blackout. According to Uber, the program will require the driver to go offline for a minimum of six hours before it will let him or her log back in.
How This Compares to Existing Taxi Rules
While a step in the right direction, it is important to note that existing regulations for traditional taxis are tighter. The New York Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) publishes the applicable rules for taxi drivers in the City. Drivers may only transport passengers for up to 10 hours in a given 24-hour period. The max limit is up to 60 hours in a given week (Monday through Sunday). But only actual time carrying passengers will count toward these limits.
Drowsy Driving Accidents in New York
If you have been seriously injured in a crash involving a rideshare driver (Uber or Lyft), trust the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP to help you with your injury claim. With more than 100 years of collective experience, we have the knowledge and resources to make sure you get compensated for your injuries. Call for a free consultation today.