REPORT: Some Uber Drivers Work Dangerous Shifts
A recent story from USA Today lays out how some Uber drivers work dangerously long shifts to maximize revenue. The article written by USA Today‘s Dinana Kruzman reads in part:
For some Uber drivers, long shifts have become the norm. Dropping fares and profitable incentives lure them to keep driving past safe limits. Because the ride-hailing service doesn’t set a cap on how many hours its drivers can work at a time, there are few legal ways to stop them. By contrast, rival Lyft shuts off its app, which drivers need to find customers, after 14 hours at a time and doesn’t let drivers back on for six hours to let them rest. As a result, the potential danger for Uber passengers and drivers alike continues to grow, even as efforts to limit driving hours spring up across the country.
The Haggard Law Firm’s Todd Michaels was not surprised to read the news. He said “Uber has shown an absolute indifference to safety which is evident in all aspects of their operations. They have gone as far as hiring social engineers from video game companies to devise methods to keep their driver’s on the road longer than they are comfortable driving. In many jurisdictions, there are limits upon how many hours a taxi driver can drive in a day because driving tired can be as dangerous as driving under the influence. However, these limits don’t apply to Uber drivers, and many Uber drivers actually don’t start their shift until they’ve finished a full day of working their other job. Then they have to contend with Uber pushing them to stay on the road longer. Uber’s methods and business models actually encourage dangerous driving, and unfortunately, the result is too many of Uber’s drivers and passengers getting injured in collisions.”
Uber told the USA Today that it investigates reports of fatigued drivers and takes “appropriate actions” in response. The company sends in-app notifications to drivers in some cities reminding them about the importance of taking breaks. “We know that sleep is the only proven way to prevent drowsy or fatigued driving, which is why awareness is important,” Uber spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said in a statement to USA Today.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses.
“Safety is job number one to all consumers. Not so much with many corporations. Like a broken record, they switch tunes only when scratched badly, and that means, unfortunately, after one too many tragedies says The Haggard Law Firm’s Christopher Marlowe. He adds, “a combination of focused regulation, and trial attorney work on behalf of those maimed or killed by dozing Uber drivers is what it will take to keep our streets safe. There was a time when the meatpacking industry and food products, in general, were left wholly to free market capitalism. People died, and the world learned how gross the underbelly of that industry was only after Upton Sinclair’s classic, The Jungle. We at the Haggard Law Firm will continue to fight to wake up everyone, including the person taking you and your loved ones home tonight.”