Driving in heavy Bay Area traffic demands your full attention, and being sleepy behind the wheel compromises anyone’s performance. Drowsiness impacts your reaction time and decision-making abilities in ways similar to alcohol intoxication. Researchers at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety attribute over 300,000 motor vehicle accidents annually to drowsy drivers. This includes 6,400 fatal traffic accidents. In response to the threat of drowsy driving, Uber has built in a mandatory six-hour rest period for its drivers.
Maximum 12-hour drive time
After an Uber driver has logged 12 hours of drive time through the app, the system automatically imposes a six-hour break. Drivers receive warning notifications as they approach the 12-hour limit. Upon reaching the maximum drive time, drivers cannot accept ride requests until a full six hours have passed.
High levels of drowsy driving
The results of a survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine revealed that 45% of adults have experienced difficulty staying awake while driving. The academy based this conclusion on the responses of 2,003 people.
How to detect drowsy driving
You might feel alert at the start of a long drive, but long hours on the road can wear you down. Signs that you are getting too tired to drive safely include:
• Yawning continually
• Needing to force eyes open
• Drifting out of your lane
• Forgetting the last few miles
• Missing your turns
When symptoms like these strike you, you should take a break from the road or ask someone else to drive if possible. A short nap at a rest stop could refresh you. Consuming caffeine might provide short-term relief from sleepiness.
Legal liabilities of drowsy driving
Getting proper amounts of sleep on a regular schedule provides the best protection from drowsy driving. The law might view a person who attempts to drive after being awake for long periods as negligent. If you suspect that an at-fault driver was drowsy before a car accident, you might ask an attorney to investigate the cause of the crash. Evidence that an at-fault driver was sleep-deprived might improve your chances of collecting compensation.