Here’s How Uber’s New Drowsy Driving Policy Will Affect You

Businessman driving a car back home late at night, after a long day on the job.
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When you’re trying to turn a side gig into a full-time career, it means you’re always hustling.

But working long hours can be pretty dangerous if you drive with Uber. And now, the company is taking action to make sure you’re staying safe.

On Monday, Uber announced a new policy mandating drivers take at least a six-hour break between 12-hour shifts. Even though 60% of drivers operate less than 10 hours a week, the company says it wants to stamp out drowsy driving.

“This new feature has tremendous potential to protect not only Uber driver-partners, but also their passengers and, ultimately, all road users,” said Governors Highway Safety Association Executive Director Jonathan Adkins in a statement with the announcement.

OK, fine. So how will this all work?

Here’s How These New Uber Regulations Will Affect You

As an Uber driver, you want to maximize your time out there on the road, so any policy regulating it might make you nervous.

The app will now include a counter to determine when you hit 12 hours (this amount may vary based on local regulations in your city), then force you to go offline for six hours straight.

But the counter doesn’t include the time you spend waiting for a scheduled pickup — say at an airport.

Still, if you’re stopped at a traffic light, for example, the time it takes to turn green will count against that 12-hour limit. And according to a Washington Post article, if you don’t take a six-hour break between consecutive six-hour driving sessions, the app will count the combined working hours and force you to stop driving.

Uber had already rolled out the feature in New York City, but now it is implementing the safety policy nationwide.

Rival rideshare firm Lyft limits drivers to 14-hour shifts.

These forced breaks might be frustrating if you’ve made major bank driving for more than 12 hours during holidays like New Year’s Eve. But when it comes to roadway safety, it’s just not worth sacrificing Zzzs for $$$.

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder.