Rideshare drivers at risk for drowsy driving

Rideshare drivers in Illinois and across the U.S. are at elevated risk for drowsy driving, according to a position statement from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The statement was published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine on April 15.

According to the position statement, rideshare drivers are more likely to suffer from on-the-job fatigue and drowsiness because many of them work night shifts and drive for long periods of time without a break. Rideshare drivers are also largely classified as independent contractors, which means they are not screened for medical conditions that could negatively impact their alertness on the job. The problem is further exacerbated by low fares and pay concessions that encourage drivers to work longer hours than their bodies can safely handle. The AASM believes the situation constitutes a grave safety risk for both rideshare drivers and the general public.

Uber has begun requiring drivers to rest for at least six consecutive hours after each 12-hour shift. Meanwhile, Lyft requires drivers to go offline for six hours following each 14-hour shift. However, AASM pointed out that many drivers work for more than one rideshare company, meaning they can clock out with one company and continue driving for another. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 328,000 U.S. car crashes are caused by drowsy driving each year.

Victims of drowsy driving car accidents can suffer major injuries. They might to have the assistance of an attorney when seeking compensation for their losses.

Source: Science Daily, "Drowsy driving in the ridesharing industry is a public safety risk", April 16, 2018

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