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. "That's why we're taking a step forward by launching a feature across the country that prompts drivers to go offline for six straight hours after a total of 12 hours of driving time". After a six-hour rest, they can go online again and receive trip requests.
The reason is simple, to keep riders from getting in a vehicle with a drowsy driver behind the wheel.
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Uber's new policy is partly a public safety concern-according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving causes 6,000 fatal crashes every year. In its statement to the Post, Uber emphasised it was implementing the new restrictions regardless of who was technically legally responsible for controlling how long the drivers were on the road. Uber had previously pushed back against the idea of capping driver hours, saying, "Uber does not set hours or shifts and drivers who partner with us can choose the hours they work". The new update rolls out that change nationally. While adopting new rules to restrict worn out driving that year, the New York City taxi regulator reported that the crash rate for taxi drivers working more than 12 hours a day was 24% higher than the crash rate for drivers working 12 or fewer hours. "This new feature has tremendous potential to protect not only Uber driver-partners, but also their passengers and, ultimately, all road users". "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". The campaign was aimed at sleep-deprived office workers, rather than Uber drivers, who Uber encouraged to call a ride through its app instead of getting behind the wheel.
"We want to do our part to help prevent drowsy driving", Kansal said.
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As VentureBeat pointed out, many people moonlight for different ride-hailing companies, so after they drive 12 hours for Uber, they could simply switch to another service.
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