The people who drive for Uber or Lyft are essentially their own bosses. They decide when to work and what rides to accept. In theory, they have the ability to take rest whenever they need it. In practice, they may push themselves to work long hours because they need to earn as much money as possible.
Especially when the person driving a rideshare vehicle only moonlights in that role and has a full-time position elsewhere, there’s a very good chance that they may actually be too fatigued to drive as safely as they should. Do those who hire rideshare vehicles need to worry about a driver who is too exhausted to be safe at the wheel?
Company limits help but aren’t enough
There aren’t any federal or state statutes that limit how long people can drive or that impose specific sleeping requirements on anyone other than those operating commercial vehicles. Those operating their own vehicle as a contractor for a rideshare app typically do not fall under those commercial driving statutes. Instead, it will only be company policy that determines how long they can work each day. In the case of Uber, drivers can work 12 hours each day. While that could leave enough time for adequate rest, it might mean that someone works a second full shift after already working at another job and then fails to get adequate sleep.
Fatigue can affect the brain in many ways. It affects decision-making ability and increases how long it takes someone to respond to changing traffic conditions. Unfortunately, clients hiring rideshare vehicles have no way of knowing until after they enter the vehicle whether the driver who picks them up has gone too long without adequate sleep.
Rideshare crashes may lead to injury claims
The rules that apply after a car crash are a bit complicated, and they are even more complex when there is a business involved in the situation. Depending on the circumstances, it might be a corporate insurance policy, a rideshare supplemental policy carried by the driver or the insurance coverage of another party altogether that pays for someone’s losses after a rideshare crash.
In some cases, a personal injury lawsuit, rather than a basic insurance claim, may be necessary if the motorist doesn’t have sufficient insurance or there are other extenuating circumstances, like a catastrophic injury after the wreck. Becoming familiar with the most common causative factors that contribute to rideshare crashes may help passengers and other drivers to more effectively make safety a top priority.