Uber making drivers take a break after long shifts

The ride-hailing company takes on the problem of drowsy driving by prompting a six-hour break after every 12-hour shift.

Michelle Meyers
Michelle Meyers wrote and edited CNET News stories from 2005 to 2020 and is now a contributor to CNET.
Michelle Meyers

Rest period! Uber is making its drivers take a six-hour break after 12 hours of driving time. 


Ever hail an Uber in the early hours and wonder if your driver is awake enough to get you home safely?

You might not have to worry so much now. The ride-hailing company on Monday said that it will force US drivers to go offline for six straight hours after 12 hours of driving at a time.

That should help combat an issue that's making the roads unsafe, Sachin Kansal, Uber's director of product management, said in a blog post. He noted a National Sleep Foundation report that found nearly 7 million people surveyed in 2016 admitted to dozing off behind the wheel within the same two-week period. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says drowsy driving is the cause of up to 6,000 fatal crashes in the US annually.

Uber drivers will be warned as they get close to the 12-hour limit. After a six-hour rest, they can go online again and receive trip requests. Different driving time limits may apply in some cities. Drivers should check here for location-specific information.

Drivers in the UK are already required to take a break after 10 hours of driving.

Uber in 2016 piloted an in-app notification that reminds drivers to take a break when feeling tired on the road. "We want to promote safe and responsible use of our app and this move will strengthen our approach to road safety, while preserving the flexibility that drivers love," the company said.