Hey y’all, guess what?
Uber is pretending to be the DOT by requiring their ride-hailing-app drivers to go “offline” for 6 straight hours after a 12-hour shift. The statement “everyone knows that drinking and driving is dangerous, but many don’t know the risks or warning signs of drowsy driving” was issued as one of the reasons Uber enacted the rule, because “according to experts, raising awareness is key.”
Well that’s just awesome. It’s also ironic that the disrupter and slayer of taxi-cab companies all over the world is slapping an hours of service rule down to “raise awareness” after they’ve lain waste to all the professionally-licensed, passenger-endorsed drivers who had to follow rules Uber didn’t.
According to AAA’s Traffic Safety Culture Index, 28.9 percent of drivers admit to driving when they were so tired that they had a hard time keeping their eyes open in the past month. This report is based on respondents 16 and older who completed a 2016 online survey. It does not designate type of license held by the 2,511 people who took the survey, but if almost one third of them have driven impaired by drowsiness, it doesn’t really matter – the survey shows us there are a lot of sleepyheads out there zooming around on an “auto pilot” system that doesn’t work well for safety concerns.
Just last November, Fox News host and former District Attorney, Jeanine Pirro made her own news by being issued a citation for doing 119 mph in a 65 mph speed zone. Her explanation of “I had been driving for hours to visit my ailing 89-year-old mom, and didn’t realize how fast I was going,” beautifully illustrates the dangers of fatigued driving. The fact that Judge Pirro retained her driver’s license, and wasn’t hauled off in the back of a police car, illustrates the fact that private vehicles, driven by folks with regular ol’ driver’s licenses, are basically given a pass on the fatigued driving issue. They can drive as many hours as they doggone well please.
The professionally-licensed career drivers know the dangers on the road and making a bunch of Ubers take a nap isn’t going to increase safety nearly as much as training and education. There’s a reason for most of those pesky rules – and until everyone using the roads is tasked to follow those rules, it won’t make a significant difference in anything other than the wording of Uber’s press releases.