Uber is now forcing its drivers to take a long break after 12 hours on the road

  • Uber is now requiring that drivers in the United States take a 6-hour break after a 12-hour shift driving.
  • The move is intended to cut down on drowsiness and stop drivers falling asleep at the wheel.
  • Rival Lyft already has a similar limit, and Uber has previously tested the feature elsewhere in the world.


Uber is cracking down on dangerously long shifts from its drivers.

The transportation firm is now requiring that American drivers take a six-hour break if they drive more than 12 uninterrupted hours on the road, it announced on Monday.

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Salaries of employees at 25 top tech companies

Google

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Twitter

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Apple

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Uber

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The move is intended to tackle the risks of drowsiness that accompany overly long driving sessions, citing statistics showing that nearly 7 million people fell asleep while driving in the space of two weeks.

Rival Lyft already has a similar — though more lenient — policy, enforcing a six-hour break for every 14 hours of driving. And Uber has previously experimented with similar limits elsewhere in the world. In the UK, for example, drivers can only go for 10 hours at a time before being forced to take a six-hour break.

Of course, the feature isn't foolproof. Many drivers work using multiple ride-hailing apps, so truly determined drivers could simply switch from Uber to Lyft when they hit their limit (or vice versa). But it should still help address the issue and cut down on overly long shifts from drivers.

In a statement, Governors Highway Safety Association executive director Jonathan Adkins praised the move

"Driver fatigue is a serious and underappreciated traffic safety issue, and states need all the help they can get to address it. GHSA is thrilled that Uber is taking steps to prevent drowsy driving by limiting the hours drivers can be behind the wheel," he said.

"This new feature has tremendous potential to protect not only Uber driver-partners, but also their passengers and, ultimately, all road users."

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