March 18, 2018

Uber to enforce six-hour break period for drivers

15 February 2018, 08:16 | Joan Schultz

Uber introduced its new policy as an effort to combat drowsy driving

Uber introduced its new policy as an effort to combat drowsy driving

While almost 60 percent of USA drivers use Uber less than 10 hours a week, we want to do our part to help prevent drowsy driving.

However, there is nothing stopping an Uber driver from driving 12 hours and then immediately switching to Lyft to keep working. The new feature according to the Washington Post, is aimed to addressing the issue of drowsy driving.

"While almost 60 percent of USA drivers use Uber less than 10 hours a week, we want to do our part to help prevent drowsy driving", said Uber's Director of Product Management Sachin Kansal in a statement. During the enforced break period, drivers will not be able pick up fares.

That should help combat an issue that's making the roads unsafe, Sachin Kansal, Uber's director of product management, said in a blog post. "The approach we have taken is irrespective of who's responsible for managing this". The app will, however, be automatically reactivated at the expiration of the mandatory break period.

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.

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After a barrage of criticism, Uber agreed to limit Big Apple Uber drivers to 12 hour shifts (the same standard used for city taxi drivers). Longer waits such when a driver is waiting in airport queues, and whiling away beyond five minutes will not be counted.

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. Instead, Uber will ensure that such passenger gets to his destination first.

"If someone is already in a ride, we're not gonna boot them, we're gonna let them finish that ride", Kansal said. Uber imposed a 12-hour limit on its New York drivers in February 2016, after the New York Post reported that some drivers were pulling 19-hour shifts. This mandated break is similar to the one Uber implemented in the United Kingdom last month.

While Uber is implementing this new policy, it wont affect most drivers because over 60 percent of drivers don't use Uber for more than 10 hours a day.

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