Drivers who work on a contract basis, being paid per ride, have a clear incentive to drive more often. Their income is tied to it. The more trips they can put in every day or every week, the more they can earn.
This can apply to newer ride-sharing services, such as Uber, and to older company models, like traditional taxi drivers.
While it’s hard to blame these drivers for wanting to work and earn more, some warn that this can be dangerous. One man said that he got into the car with an Uber driver, and one of the first things that the driver told him was that he’d been worked for nearly 19 straight hours. He had taken a short break in the middle of the night to eat and sleep for about an hour, but he’d been driving ever since.
The passenger relaying the story said his ride wasn’t as smooth as it could have been. The driver almost missed turns, made mistakes trying to read the GPS on his phone, and yawned over and over. They made it to their destination safely, but it was apparent that the man was simply too tired to drive.
The reason, the driver said, was that he’d be given a bonus if he did enough jobs that week. He was trying to cram them in at the last second to make it before the week ended, giving him that 19-hour workday.
Driver fatigue is a significant problem that can lead to slower reaction times, avoidable mistakes and serious accidents. Those who are injured by tired drivers who are pushing the limits of what their bodies can do need to know if they have a right to financial compensation.
Source: Slate, “Why Uber Needs to Do More to Make Sure Its Drivers Aren’t Dangerously Tired,” Jeff Bercovici, accessed April 28, 2017