Uber Will Soon Force Drivers To Take Mandatory Breaks After Extended Shifts

Ivan Schwartz
February 16, 2018

The company claimed that almost two-thirds of its US drivers actually drive with Uber for less than 10 hours a week anyway, but it didn't reveal how many actively drive for longer than 12 hours at a time.

Uber has studied the feature where implemented in other markets (including Australia, where it launched previously) and built this US -facing version with a lot of feedback in mind.

What's most interesting about this move is that it's more than a recommendation: The driver's app will be pushed offline once the 12-hour driving limit has been reached. "We're pleased to see Uber taking this step and using technology to elevate the importance of this issue". "We want to encourage people to use Uber responsibly". In a press release, the company noted that almost 60 percent of its USA drivers use the app less than 10 hours a week, but fatigue has become a major concern for the company. This will address riders who have long distance to travel-they will instead be paired with other drivers with longer upper limit of work time. The change was likely motivated by a string of recent setbacks for Uber in the United Kingdom and Europe, including London's transport authority declining to renew its license to operate in September 2017, citing consumer safety concerns. Uber imposed a 12-hour limit on its New York drivers in February 2016, after the New York Post reported that some drivers were pulling 19-hour shifts. "But even one crash is too many, as recent reports suggest".

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On paper, this seems like a great move by Uber, but in reality drivers will likely find ways around it. But there is only so much Uber can do to stop its drivers from working while worn out. Huffington, who has made sleep a pillar of her personal brand, visited college campuses around the country for the campaign to offer "sleep tutorials".

The company notes about 60 percent of Uber drivers use the app fewer than 10 hours a week. The company, which filed the comment under a subsidiary name, argued that ride-hailing was "inherently flexible" and that "rigid hour limits without an underlying safety rationale are antithetical to that flexible model". Lyft already mandates a six-hour break for every 14 hours of driving.

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