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Ridesharing industry at risk for drowsy driving

New York residents who rely on apps like Uber and Lyft to get to their destinations may be interested to learn that some rideshare drivers may be too drowsy to do their jobs. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, rideshare drivers often start working after already having been awake for hours. This means they could be driving without having had enough rest.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that an estimated 328,000 traffic accidents are caused by drowsy drivers every year. Of these, an estimated 109,000 accidents result in injuries while another 6,400 result in traffic fatalities. Some ridesharing companies have tried to help resolve the problem by requiring drivers to take six straight hours off after driving for a certain amount of time. For example, Uber requires six hours off after 12 hours of driving time. However, some drivers may work other jobs or drive during the early morning or middle of the night when they tend to be the sleepiest.

Another problem is that these ridesharing companies only hire independent contractors. This means that the people who drive for these companies are not screened for medical problems that could result in fatigue or a lack of alertness.

An individual who gets injured in a car accident may be eligible to seek compensation for damages, even if they were a passenger in the vehicle that caused the crash. If a person was in an accident that involved a driver who was working for a ridesharing company, a personal injury attorney may assist with determining if the responsible driver, the ridesharing company and the insurances involved can be held liable. Depending on the injuries, the victim could seek compensation for medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering.

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