Drowsiness a safety risk among ridesharing drivers

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Compelled by low fare and salary incentives, many ridesharing drivers in Texas choose to overwork themselves, becoming sleep-deprived in the process. This can especially make them dangerous behind the wheel in the early morning and late at night. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine issued a position statement back in April 2018 regarding this widespread problem.

Quite a few ridesharing drivers, unfortunately, underrate the importance of sleep. With their drivers generally being classified as independent contractors, the ridesharing industry has no way of screening them for medical conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea, that can diminish alertness even more.

Estimates from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveal that an average of 328,000 car crashes are caused every year in this country by drowsy driving. Around a third of those crashes cause injuries, and 64,000 result in at least one fatality. The National Transportation Safety Board has put the reduction of fatigue-related crashes high on its list of ways to save lives on the road. The AASM calls for ridesharing companies, government officials, medical professionals and law enforcement to collaborate on ways to address the issue. Uber and Lyft began mandating their drivers to go offline for six consecutive hours after working for 12 and 14 hours, respectively. However, the AASM has called these measures insufficient.

It's up to drivers themselves, ultimately, whether they want to work in a drowsy state or not. In cases where driver negligence leads to accidents, victims can file a personal injury lawsuit. They might want to have the assistance of an attorney when seeking compensation for the losses that they have incurred.

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