Drivers for rideshare companies such as Lyft have the opportunity to make their own hours – and the more hours they work, the more income additional income they earn. People in the Miami area need rides at all hours of the day and there are always plenty of Lyft and Uber drivers online, ready to pick you up. Many people climb into a Lyft without much concern, however, it is important to realize that many Lyft and Uber drivers may be dangerously fatigued.
The number of fares a Lyft driver earns largely depends on how long they work, so it should be no surprise that many of these drivers are willing to work long hours, especially if driving is their primary source of income. Such long hours put Lyft passengers and all others on the road at risk of accidents caused by fatigued driving.
If you suffered injuries in a crash because of a fatigued Lyft or Uber driver, you need the right law firm handling your case. Regulations and standards regarding ridesharing safety are complex and are constantly developing in Florida. It is important that your attorney understands all applicable laws, court cases, and other developments and how they apply to protect your rights as a rideshare accident victim. Please contact Uber Car Accident Law for more information today.
Limited Hour Restrictions for Lyft Drivers in Miami Beach & South Florida
The dangers of professional drivers becoming fatigued have long been recognized. For instance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces strict hours of service regulations for all drivers of commercial vehicles in the United States to prevent fatigued driving. Drivers hauling goods are limited to 11-hour shifts before they must take 10 hours off, which allows for a maximum of 14 hours of driving in a 24-hour period. Any commercial drivers carrying passengers, however, may only drive 10-hour shifts before taking at least eight hours off to rest.
While the FMCSA clearly recognizing the importance of strict driving limits, Lyft and Uber both take a more liberal approach toward fatigued driving and restrictions. Lyft currently enforces the following restrictions for drivers:
- Drivers may be online in “driver mode” for 14 hours
- Drivers must then take a six-hour break before going online again
Compared to commercial passenger drivers, Lyft drivers can work four hours longer per shift and can take shorter breaks before a subsequent shift. If a Lyft driver works a maximum shift, takes the minimum break, and then starts working again, they could drive for as many as 18 hours in a 24-hour day. Some states have more strict restrictions but Florida does not at this time.
After 14 hours of driving, it is hardly likely that a Lyft driver will be able to go right to sleep and stay asleep for the full six hours, which is less sleep than in typically recommended for adults anyhow. Instead, drivers may use their break time to eat, wind down, and may only get a couple hours of sleep before they are back behind the wheel again. As you can imagine, this can result in many overly-fatigued Lyft drivers out on the roads at any point in time.
Even more frightening is that Uber places no hour restrictions on its drivers. As mentioned, Florida does not provide restrictions within the state for ridesharing drivers. Therefore, Uber drivers are free to push the limits and drive as long as they want. Many people misjudge their level of fatigue or try to “push through” to make more money, putting everyone at serious risk of injuries.
Every Lyft or Uber driver should fully realize the risks of fatigued driving and recognize when it is time to rest. If your driver was driving while fatigued and caused an accident, you should discuss your legal rights with a skilled ridesharing accident lawyer as soon as possible.
The Dangers of Fatigued Driving in Miami
Federal safety organizations have long been trying to spread awareness of the dangers of drowsy driving. Even if a driver does not necessarily feel sleepy, fatigue is enough to impair their faculties to a dangerous degree. Fatigue can have many effects on drivers, including the following:
- Inability to stay focused or concentrate on the road
- Impaired judgment and decision-making abilities
- Slowed reaction times
- Overcorrecting (suddenly jerking the wheel or slamming on brakes) when a driver recognizes an obstacle too late
- Falling asleep at the wheel
The National Sleep Foundation states that many effects of drowsy driving are similar to those of drunk driving and being awake for 24 hours is akin to having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.10 percent, which is over the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Lyft drivers should recognize the signs of fatigue, including increased blinking or yawning, drooping eyes, trouble remembering the past minutes of driving, drifting from a lane or hitting a rumble strip, and more. Drinking energy drinks or coffee may make a driver feel more alert but it does not actually combat the effects of a fatigue. Caffeine can give drivers a false sense of security, which can be even more dangerous for passengers.
If your Lyft or Uber driver nodded off at the wheel or made other errors due to fatigue that resulted in a crash, you deserve to be fully compensated for your medical expenses and other losses. Insurance claims involving ridesharing companies can be complicated, however, so you want the most experienced Lyft accident law firm on your side to protect your rights.
Contact a South Florida Lyft Accident Attorney to Discuss Your Rights
Uber Car Accident Law knows the ins and outs of accident and injury claims involving Lyft and Uber drivers. We have represented rideshare passengers as well as other motorists who have suffered unnecessary injuries due to the negligence of rideshare drivers. While it can be challenging to prove that a driver was fatigued, our firm has the resources to review driving logs and other records to make the argument that a driver should not have been on the road.
After an injury in a Lyft or Uber, you should not hesitate to call (305) 964-8806 or contact us online to set up a free consultation today.