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Why drowsy driving is a major risk in ridesharing

Drivers in New York are probably aware of how dangerous it is to be fatigued behind the wheel. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that every year in the U.S., 328,000 crashes occur because of fatigued driving with 109,000 of those resulting in injuries and 6,400 in a fatality. Among those most susceptible to fatigued driving are rideshare drivers.

A statement from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine indicates that fatigue and sleepiness are inherent to the rideshare industry. Rideshare drivers often work late into the night or after long periods of wakefulness; the low fare and lack of salary incentives can frequently push them to keep working even when they know they are tired. Their sleepiness could be aggravated by conditions like obstructive sleep apnea, but being independent contractors, they are never screened for such issues.

Rideshare drivers also tend to work multiple jobs, sometimes jobs with other rideshare companies, and work when sleepiness is at its peak such as the early morning hours. For these reasons, the AASM believes that recent limitations on duty hours set by Uber and Lyft do not address the problem entirely. The organization calls for a collaboration between rideshare companies and law enforcement, medical professionals and government officials to reduce the risk of drowsiness.

Those who incur an injury from the actions of a fatigued driver might choose to file for compensation with the help of a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer may first evaluate the case and see if the victim has the grounds for a third-party insurance claim. The lawyer might then hire investigators to show how the other party was being negligent before proceeding to negotiations with the insurance company. If a settlement cannot be reached, the lawyer may be able to take the case to court.

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