The Dangers of Fatigued Uber and Lyft Drivers in Tampa
The fatigued and drowsy Uber and Lyft drivers put their passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists on the road in danger. They may be deliberately dodging these rideshare companies’ rest requirements by doing other activities or working for rival rideshare companies instead of taking ample rest breaks. Rideshare companies currently have no way to monitor how tired their drivers might be, placing other road users at risk of serious accidents if they are not alert and well-rested.
While Uber and Lyft do require drivers to get sufficient rest and breaks, they don’t have any control to prevent drivers from driving, whether for personal use or for other rideshare companies during these supposed rest periods to supplement their income. This means that many drivers might also be working a part-time or full-time job or attending to their families’ needs during their off-hours.
The Risks of Fatigued Driving
According to a position paper by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), rideshare drivers face vital safety risks; fatigued driving and undisclosed medical issues. It states that many rideshare drivers have full-time work and drive for rideshare companies for additional income, meaning it’s common for them to drive for extended hours and not get adequate sleep, which increases the risk of fatigued driving crashes.
Another vital point the paper raised is about the drivers’ status as independent contractors. As such, rideshare companies do not provide them with routine medical screenings, and undisclosed medical conditions may affect their ability to drive safely. Likewise, the paper pointed out that issues like sleep apnea, which causes excessive daytime sleepiness, among other symptoms, place their passengers and other people they share the road with at risk of serious crashes.
Common Driver Fatigue Causes
Fatigued driving is preventable. However, many Uber and Lyft drivers who must work extended shifts fail to get sufficient sleep. Some of the most common causes of fatigue include:
- Failure to get the recommended hours of sleep each night
- Staying awake for many hours
- Monotonous activities like driving for hours on end
- Health problems like insomnia and sleep apnea
- Prescription or OTC medications that make drivers sleepy
- Nighttime hours. Our internal clock significantly influences our alertness when going about other daily activities. Usually, drivers will have a greater urge to rest or sleep as the sun sets.
Rideshare drivers who work very long hours and do not get ample rest are more likely to experience driver fatigue. While coffee, energy drinks, or shirt snaps can keep fatigue in check temporarily, sleeping is the only true cure for fatigue.
Speak to an Experienced Tampa Rideshare Accident Attorney Now
Accidents involving fatigued Uber and Lyft drivers are typically more severe than other types of accidents due to the driver’s delayed poor judgment and delayed reaction time. Rideshare passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists on the road are at the mercy of negligent drivers who lack the attentiveness and diligence to ensure others’ safety.