U.S.-based ridesharing giant Uber is introducing time limits to combat drowsy driving.
After driving a cumulative total of 12 hours, the Uber driver app will automatically lock users out of the app for a total of six hours.
The new feature is designed to force drivers to take a break and get some rest.
“While most driver-partners use the Uber app less than 10 hours a week, we want to do our part to help prevent drowsy driving,” said Rob Khazzam, Uber Canada’s general manager, in a February 21st, 2018 media release.
An Uber spokesperson also clarified via email that the app only counts cumulative drive time. Waiting for a trip at an airport, for example, won’t count against the time limit.
Additionally, the time limit resets to zero after six hours offline.
“Anytime [drivers] go offline for six or more hours, their driving time resets to zero,” an Uber spokesperson told MobileSyrup via email. “They can always take whatever time away from the app they want but in order to reset their driving time, they need to go offline for six or more hours.”
According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO), “tired drivers can be as impaired as drunk drivers.”
The MTO also recommends avoid using stimulants to induce a state of increased awareness.
“Stimulants are never a substitute for sleep,” reads an excerpt from the MTO drowsy driving webpage. “Drink containing caffeine can help you feel more alert, but if you are sleep deprived, the effects wear off quickly.”
“You cannot trick your body into staying awake; you need to sleep… the only safe driver is a well-rested, alert driver.”