The American Academy of Sleep Medicine is providing information on the risk of fatigue and sleeplessness in the ride-sharing industry. Individuals in New Jersey who work in the ride-sharing industry may find themselves working during the night or working after they’ve already worked a full shift at another job. This, coupled with the driver’s circadian rhythm being thrown off, may put them at greater risk for exhaustion and fatigue.
The reason why this is seen as a public health issue is because drivers are often motivated to stay on the road long past their safety limits. Since drivers working with ride-sharing companies are considered independent contractors, they do not need to go through the same screening process as others in the transportation industry.
Individuals who turn to ride-sharing as a second income may be less focused on the need to get a sufficient amount of sleep and more driven by their desires to reach certain financial goals. On the other side of the coin, their passengers are not usually concerned about or aware of the drowsiness of the driver. This is the perfect formula for disasters on the road.
The seriousness of driving while drowsy is underscored by the fact that more than 320,000 crashes in the United States involve a drowsy driver annually. Sadly, more than 6,000 of them lead to fatalities. In response to this, many ride-sharing companies are putting limits on the amount of time the drivers can be on the road before taking a break. The hope is that this will contribute to a reduction in sleep-related automobile accidents.
If a passenger using a ride-share service is involved in a motor vehicle accident because the driver was drowsy, he or she may be entitled to financial compensation. A personal injury lawyer may work with the victim to evaluate the particulars of the case and determine if negligence on the part of the driver was the cause of the accident.