The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has conducted a groundbreaking study finding that fatigue is an inherent risk within the emerging ride-sharing industry. The more hours rideshare drivers utilize, the more money they make. However, as hours of sleep deprivation accrue, their risk of getting into a car accident escalates. Many see an increase in Uber and Lyft accidents as the natural side effect of the current gig economy.
Ridesharing is a service, usually conducted through an app on one’s smartphone, that arranges a shared ride on short notice. The ridesharing drivers are usually paid by the passenger directly through the app. Drivers tend to push themselves, working long hours in an essentially unregulated industry to earn more money because the fares they make are low.
These rideshare drivers tend to be independent contractors who are unscreened for health problems, such as sleep apnea, that are linked to drowsy driving. For rideshare contractors, they usually drive after having been up all night, or after working full time at a day job. Their daily routine is often interrupted by their ridesharing work. The fare rate is very low, often compelling rideshare drivers to keep working, even though they are fatigued.
Uber and Lyft Speak Out
The two largest ridesharing companies, Uber and Lyft, recently rolled out policies that attempt to ensure their drivers are well rested. Uber requires drivers to not transport passengers for six straight hours after 12 hours of driving time. Lyft has a similar requirement, but it only kicks in after 14 hours of driving time. Rideshare drivers can circumvent these policies by toggling back and forth between driving for Uber and Lyft, or other companies.
Drowsy driving has serious safety implications. According to the AAA foundation for Traffic Safety, every year, nearly 330,000 accidents involve at least one drowsy driver. An estimated 6,400 people are fatally injured every year in auto accidents that involve an overtired motorist.
The study on drowsy driving in the ridesharing industry was published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. The AASM has issued a statement asking lawmakers, ridesharing companies, and the government to engage in a collaborative effort to address the issue of fatigue among rideshare drivers.
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Victims Injured by Fatigued Drivers
No one should have to face the devastating aftermath of a car accident, because of another driver’s negligence. Many car accidents can be prevented if the offending motorist was not overly tired or using their cell phone while driving. If you have been injured in a car accident, we can investigate the cause of your accident and fight to hold the responsible parties accountable. To learn more, call one of the experienced Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. today at 803-929-3600 or contact us online.
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