Uber is getting serious about keeping drowsy drivers off the road


Earlier this year, Uber implemented a six hour break policy on United Kingdom drivers that work for 10 hours straight and now the company is bringing a similar change to American drivers, but with a slightly change. According to Scott Coriell, spokesman for Lyft, "the company's drivers must take a 6-hour break for every 14 hours they're in driver mode".

These restrictions, meant to prevent accidents caused by drowsy driving, are already in place in some US cities, per local regulations.

Uber will shut its most active drivers out of the app for a required six-hour break after they have driven for 12 hours straight, the ride-hailing company announced Monday. For example, someone who has picked up fares in two, six-hour spurts - without taking six hours of rest in between - would have their app disabled after the second leg.

Uber is ready for a less laissez-faire approach to drowsy driving.

Kansal said the app will measure driving time using Global Positioning System and telematics to detect whether the vehicle is moving. "The approach we have taken is irrespective of who's responsible for managing this".

"We want to keep our riders and drivers safe", said Sachin Kansal, Uber's Director of Product Management per the Washington Post.

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Uber is ordering some of its hardest workers to take a time out.

For those drivers who shuttle people around for more than 12-hour shifts, they'll now be closer in line with federal regulations for truck drivers. Instead, Uber will ensure that such passenger gets to his destination first. "One of the other reasons why we notify the drivers - 2 hours, 1 hour and 30 minutes before the limit - is exactly so they can manage those situations as well".

"If someone is already in a ride, we're not gonna boot them, we're gonna let them finish that ride", Kansal said.

In 2017, Uber fought a proposal in MA to limit drivers to 16 hours a day, or 70 hours a week, calling it (pdf, p. 10) "unworkable" and "overly burdensome".

In the UK, Uber's rest breaks policy might not be unconnected with some of the issues facing it in that country; London in particular.