Uber combating drowsy driving with new policy for drivers

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(WFLA) – Uber is trying to prevent drowsy driving with new rules for drivers.

The new Uber policy isn’t in effect yet but when it is, some of the drivers won’t have as much freedom with their schedules as they do now.

The days of super long shifts will soon end for Uber employees like Marla Hernandez. She says she worked all day on Sunday.

“Well, I was online for 24 hours,” she said.

She says heavier travel days mean the chance of more income.

“It was really busy here Sunday.”

But Uber’s new rule will require drivers to take six hour breaks after driving for 12 hours straight. The goal is prevent drowsy driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says sleep-deprived drivers may be responsible for causing up to 6,000 fatal crashes yearly.

Soon Uber drivers will be monitored through an updated version of the company’s app using GPS and Telematics to detect if a vehicle is in motion.

Raul Castro uses Uber once a week.

“I think where it’s not only a good idea, I think it’s a must. We need this,” he said.

Herb drives for both Uber and Lyft and said, “I think it’s great. That means there will be less guys out here sleeping in their cars and working for 48 hours at a time.”

But he also knows some drivers may try to get around the system by driving for both Uber and Lyft.

“Well, if you ran one app then you ran the other app, yeah. But I wouldn’t do that,” he said.

But until the Uber app is updated, Hernandez will try to log every hour she can, continuing to be careful and pace herself. She suggests one key is “to be able to rest is the important part in between rides.”

Uber has similar policies currently in effect in both New York City and the United Kingdom.

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