Being a driver for a ride-hailing company such as Uber has its perks. You don’t have any boss to answer to, which means you can work on your terms. People might say that this freedom causes some Drivers to be lazy as there’s no one to pressure them to work very early in the morning or work very late at night.

However, for some people, this freedom causes them to work longer hours than they should. In fact, some Uber drivers are working for such extended periods of time that they are risking their health and the safety of others just to earn more and this could be a major concern for the general public.

It is estimated that each year, 100,000 car accidents are related to driver fatigue. However, there is no data available on how many of those accidents are directly linked to Uber drivers.

The problem is that Uber itself doesn’t set any regulations regarding how long its drivers should work. Unlike its competitor, Lyft has a way to limit its drivers from becoming fatigued while working. Drivers need the Lyft app to find passengers but the same app gets shut down every 14 hours so that drivers have no choice but to rest. Drivers are only allowed back in the app after six hours.

Why do Uber drivers work longer than they should?

There are a couple of reasons why Uber drivers drive up to 16 hours at a time.

One reason is Uber’s incentive program. As a motivation, Uber sometimes offer bonuses for drivers who can complete a specific number of rides.

James Lindsay, an Uber driver, revealed that he was once promised an additional $150 if he could complete 35 rides on one particular weekend. As a result, Lindsey drove more hours than he originally intended just to earn the bonus the ride-hailing company had promised.

Lindsey said that whenever he felt fatigued from driving long hours, he would drink lots of coffee just to keep himself alert on the road. However, if he felt too tired to drive, he would simply turn off the app and went home.

Policies regarding working hours

According to Federal transportation laws, common carriers can only drive a maximum of 10 hours at a time and only allowed again to drive after eight hours of mandatory rest.

However, Uber can avoid this regulation.

C. Kerry Fields, a business law expert, stated that “A common carrier is liable for the safety of their passengers. Uber says ‘we’re not liable for that – the driver is,’” according to a report by USA Today.

Uber also considers its drivers as independent contractors and not as employees, which means that the drivers can set their own time. In other words, Uber has no right to restrict its drivers from working longer hours.

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