Those who use ridesharing services in Connecticut or elsewhere may not stop to consider that their drivers may be too tired to do their jobs safely. However, drowsy driving in the rideshare industry is a significant problem according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. This is true despite attempts by Uber and Lyft to cut down on drowsy driving by instituting hours of service rules.
Uber drivers must log off the app for at least 6 hours for every 12 hours of driving time. Lyft requires a similar break after 14 hours of driving time. However, drivers may get around this rule by driving for multiple ridesharing companies. The National Transportation Safety Board listed reducing fatigued driving accidents as part of its 2017-2018 list of changes it wanted to see. However, the fact that rideshare drivers tend to be paid a relatively low wage may keep them on the road while tired.
Drivers may also not believe that they need to get as much sleep as professionals recommend. The rideshare industry tends to use contract workers, which means that drivers aren’t likely to be screened for health problems such as sleep apnea. These and other conditions could make it more likely that a driver is drowsy while behind the wheel.
A tired or drowsy driver is generally considered to be a negligent driver. Therefore, victims of crashes caused by drowsy drivers might be entitled to reimbursement for medical bills and lost wages. They may also be entitled to lost future earnings and other damages. In some cases, multiple parties may be liable for damages, such as if a driver who caused an accident was driving an employer’s vehicle or if a defective part played a role in the crash.