One of America’s most popular ridesharing services, Uber, filed to go public last month. Now, its drivers geared up to protest for better treatment and payment just before the company goes on its Wall Street entrance. These demonstrations will be held in various cities in California, such as San Diego and Los Angeles, where drivers plan on holding off work for one day.
At the moment, Uber and Lyft drivers are contractual workers, so they don’t get benefits like paid leaves and overtime pay like regular employees do. This is still the case, despite a court ruling that rideshare drivers are employees and not independent contractors.
Rideshare services are also in high demand, as Americans who use ridesharing services in 2018 have doubled compared to 2015, according to recent numbers from the Pew Research Center. Over 36% of adults in the U.S. say they’ve used a ridesharing service.
The lack of benefits, along with low wages and high customer demand push both part-time and full-time drivers to burn the midnight oil to make ends meet. A recent statement from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), however, sees this as a major risk for both drivers and their passengers.
Risks of Rideshare Driver Fatigue
The AASM published a recent position paper on the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine called “The Risk of Fatigue and Sleepiness in the Ridesharing Industry: An American Academy of Sleep Position Statement.” The organization stated that drivers face two crucial safety issues: drowsy driving and undisclosed medical problems. The authors said that many drivers in the industry have a full-time job and only do ridesharing for extra income. As such, they often drive for extended periods and not get enough sleep. This situation, according to the AASM, increases the risk of drowsy driving accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s latest statistics showed that over 795 lives were taken because of drowsy driving in 2017. There are close to 8 million registered drivers on the road in Los Angeles County, which correlates to high rate of auto related accidents. In case another tragedy does occur, we have on staff Uber Accident lawyers to help handle your case.
The second point that the organization made is about the status of the drivers as independent contractors. According to the authors, drivers are not given medical screenings. As such, undisclosed medical issues may impede their ability to drive safely. The AASM pointed out that problems like obstructive sleep apnea, which has excessive sleepiness during daytime as one of its primary symptoms, put drivers, passengers, and pedestrians at risk of severe accidents.
The AASM is not convinced that the six-hour rest period after 12 to 14-hour driving shifts that ridesharing companies require is enough to keep drivers safe on the wheel. The organization believes that drivers are already extending their work hours once they start their daily rideshare trips. It recommends that government agencies crack down on regulations that limit work hours and enforce medical screenings for rideshare drivers.
What to Do When You Get Into an Uber Accident
You’re entrusting your life to your driver when you ride an Uber. If you find yourself injured because of an accident involving a rideshare vehicle, you should sue for damages immediately. Haffner Lawyers helps you get the compensation you deserve from injuries caused by Uber accidents. We believe that no company or person should be exempt from being held accountable for the damages or injuries they cause due to negligence.
Call 844-HAFFNER or 213-514-5681 today to get the compensation you deserve.
(This is an attorney advertisement by Joshua Haffner)