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Your Uber experience is getting a little safer. In a nod to the old adage that injured customers and cranky employees -- I mean, independent contractors -- are bad for business, the ride-sharing company is rolling out a feature forcing Uber drivers to take 6 hours off after driving for 12 hours.
Preventing Drowsy Driving
It's a move aimed at keeping people safe, behind the wheel, in the backseat, or while crossing the street in a downtown area. Because drowsy driving is a national problem, not just one for ride-sharing companies.
-- Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff) February 12, 2018
From a legal perspective, lawsuits for an injury arising after someone falls asleep at the wheel are a regular feature. Sleeping while driving can rise to negligence necessary to find liability in many a civil lawsuit.
Criminal charges, especially where death or serious bodily injury result, are possible as well. That's not something people want on their conscience, or companies want on their balance sheet.
Uber's New Driver Policy
The "12 on, 6 off" policy will be rolled out in the coming weeks. Similar policies to combat driver fatigue are already in force in some places.
In New York City, pressure from the Taxi and Limousine Commission led Uber to temporarily deactivate drivers operating for more than 12 hours. A similar policy, though for ten hours behind the wheel, exists in the United Kingdom.
Hopefully, this won't just mean drivers spend 12 hours driving for Uber, then switch to driving for Lyft.