Sleepiness and Fatigue: Major Safety Risks in the Rideshare Industry
If you are hurt in a motor vehicle accident with a rideshare driver that works for a company such as Uber or Lyft, it's important to talk with a Colorado Springs personal injury lawyer about your options.
You may be able to pursue a claim against the driver and rideshare companies may also have insurance that pays your bills when something goes wrong. An attorney can help you to understand your rights after a collision whether you were a passenger in a rideshare vehicle or you were another motorist on the road hurt by a rideshare driver who was operating unsafely.
Unfortunately, many drivers who work for these ridesharing apps are at significant risk of causing collisions to occur because so many of these motorists are fatigued while transporting passengers.
Some Rideshare Drivers are Dangerous on the Roads Due to Driver Fatigue
According to Safety & Health, experts believe that there is a major safety risk within the ridesharing industry. In fact, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recently released a report indicating that the safety risk is inherently a part of the business model for many of these companies.
The problem is, drivers often work in the evenings, and often do so after they've left their primary job for the day. Because drivers end up working during nontraditional hours, sleepiness would be a problem even if the motorists were getting enough sleep since it's hard to adjust to working at night in opposition to the body's natural rhythm.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that so many drivers work multiple jobs or work long hours for the rideshare company, which means that many of the drivers have extended periods of wakefulness. Being awake for too long can impair a motorist's driving ability by clouding his judgement and affecting his reflexes.
Further, because many rideshare drivers are independent contractors, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine warns they aren't subject to vigorous screenings for conditions such as sleep apnea or other medical issues that could put them at even greater risk for becoming involved in a fatigued driving accident.
Driver fatigue is on the rise among all motorists and reducing fatigue-related collisions is a top goal for the National Transportation Safety Board – and with good reason. Around 328,000 collisions per year are estimated to involve a fatigued driver, and these accidents have been linked to around 6,5400 fatalities and 109,000 injuries.
Ridesharing companies claim to be taking steps to stop contributing to this problem, such as requiring breaks for drivers, but the American Academy of Sleep Medicine thinks these steps are insufficient in light of the risks fatigued driving represents since drivers can easily work more than one job to get around current rules.
The risks associated with ridesharing are not likely to be reduced any time soon as more and more people turn to services such as Uber and Lyft to get around. It's important to know your rights if you are hurt in an accident, so contact a Colorado Springs personal injury lawyer as soon as possible if you're injured as a passenger in a ridesharing vehicle or if you were walking, biking, or driving and a ridesharing driver hurt you.