Drowsy Rideshare Drivers and the Risk of Car Accidents

There is no denying that rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft offer us a convenience that is difficult to beat. It is like having your own private driver. The problem is that you simply do not know who your driver is or if he or she is in any condition to drive when you jump in that ride. Ultimately, when rideshare accidents happen – and they do – they tend to be extremely complicated.

The Rideshare Company

Rideshare companies have been exceptionally clever from the outset. They structured their businesses not to employ drivers but to use independent contractors to drive for them. As such, Uber, Lyft, and other companies like them are able to avoid a good deal of liability that they would otherwise face. That said, both companies carry substantial insurance policies that provide 3rd-party liability coverage in the event that their drivers cause accidents.

Rideshare Drivers

Because rideshare companies do not hire drivers, the independent contractors who work for them are not commercial drivers and are not held to the strict rules and regulations that commercial drivers are. Commercial drivers face stringent hours-of-service restrictions that guide all of the following:

  • How many consecutive hours they are permitted to spend behind the wheel

  • How many hours they must be off the clock in between shifts

  • How many consecutive days they are permitted to drive

These restrictions are put in place solely to help keep our roadways safer for everyone who travels on them, and they do not apply to rideshare drivers in the same way.

Making a Living in the Gig Economy

Making a living in what has become a gig economy is not guaranteed. Rideshare drivers only get paid when they complete a fare, and that makes hustling for fares a priority. Many rideshare drivers simply cannot afford to slow down, and that makes the risk of encountering a drowsy, overworked rideshare driver that much more likely. Further, many rideshare drivers are moonlighting after working a full-time job, and exhaustion is inevitable. 

While Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies like them have implemented consecutive hour restrictions within their apps, the bar is very low. Further, many rideshare drivers drive for multiple companies, and there is no oversight in place to stop a driver who can no longer drive for Uber from moving off the Uber app and on to the Lyft app. Driving while under the influence of exhaustion is dangerous, but working as a rideshare driver makes drowsy driving that much more likely.

Do Not Delay Consulting with an Experienced Killeen Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in a rideshare accident, you should contact Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas immediately. Mr. Pritchard is a dedicated personal injury attorney with extensive experience helping clients like you obtain the compensation they need to reach their most complete recovery. We are on your side, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.

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