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Drowsy driving, a widespread issue in ridesharing industry

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine issued a position statement back in April 2018 that should be of interest to rideshare users in Georgia. According to academy researchers, many rideshare drivers are compelled by low fares and salary incentives to overwork themselves. Moreover, these drivers are independent contractors who are never screened for conditions like obstructive sleep apnea.

Drowsy driving contributes to an average of 328,000 car crashes every year in the U.S., according to AAA estimates. Of these, 109,000 result in injuries and 6,400 in at least one fatality. In its 2017-2018 Most Wanted List, the National Transportation Safety Board placed the reduction of fatigue-related crashes among the top 10 changes that can save lives on the road.

Ridesharing companies Lyft and Uber now mandate their employers to take six consecutive hours offline after driving for 14 hours and 12 hours, respectively. But the AASM says this is insufficient because ridesharing drivers could have multiple jobs and often drive in the early morning or late at night when sleepiness reaches its peak.

Instead, the AASM calls for collaborative efforts between ridesharing companies and law enforcement, government officials and medical professionals. Rideshare operators must also be on guard against drowsiness and never underrate the value of sleep.

Drivers who choose to neglect their health will only endanger themselves and others. When such negligence is behind an auto accident, victims could be left with injuries and other losses for which they are not to blame. To be compensated, they can file a claim against the other party's auto insurance carrier, but they may want legal assistance. A lawyer can hire investigators to obtain a copy of the police report and any other possible evidence. Ultimately, a victim can leave negotiations to their lawyer.

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