In New York City, with its high cost of living, Uber drivers often have to work very long hours in order to make enough money to pay the bills. The New York Post reported some drivers are working as long as 19 hours per day to make ends meet. The Post interviewed several drivers, including a 28-year-old who said he routinely worked 16-hour days during his two years as an Uber driver and he worked for a total of 19 hours in one day in the prior week. On the day he drove 19 hours, he caught only a brief nap at JFK airport.
When drivers work 16-hour days or longer, they can experience the effects of fatigue. When drivers repeatedly do this, the effects are cumulative and they may begin to experience a delay in reaction time, as well as cognitive impairments due to their drowsiness. There is even a risk the drivers will fall asleep behind the wheel. When and if this happens, and a crash occurs because of a tired Uber driver, New York injury attorneys should be consulted for help.
Uber permits its drivers to work a total of 100 hours per week. This means an employee could work an average of 14 hours and 15 minutes each day. This is two more hours than cab drivers are allowed to operate a vehicle.
Commercial drivers, like truckers and those who operate buses, are also limited by federal hours-of-service limitations to 10 hours of drive time over the course of a day and 70 hours of work over seven days or 80 hours of work over eight days. Uber drivers, in other words, are allowed to drive more than any other commercial drivers on the roads.
Many people who drive for Uber take advantage of the opportunity to work as many hours as they can because it can be hard to make enough money otherwise. Now that Uber has cut prices by 15 percent, some worry that things are expected to get even worse for drivers.
Out of concern for their livelihood, more than 300 Uber drivers protested at New York airports recently. The drivers said the price cut, plus the fact Uber is bringing on more drivers, is making it harder for them to make a living. The drivers are demanding that Uber raise its prices again, add an option to the app for motorists to tip and lower the commission the company takes.
Uber officials, however, claim that drivers are actually making more money due to the price reduction. Whether this is true or not, the fact is that Uber allows it drivers to be on the road long enough to potentially create a drowsy driving risk and many drivers are taking advantage of this chance and potentially driving when fatigued. If these Uber drivers cause a crash to occur, it will be important for victims to contact Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff to get help with obtaining the just compensation they deserve for their damages and injuries.