Uber drivers, in the interest of safety, will now be unable to accept new riders after driving for a total of 12 hours. They will only be able to resume after a mandatory six-hour break, as the ride-hailing service explained on Monday, Feb. 12.
"While nearly 60 percent of U.S. drivers use Uber less than 10 hours a week, we want to do our part to help prevent drowsy driving," Uber said in their announcement earlier this week, after highlighting how prevalent drowsy driving, and the hazards that go with it, has already become.
"That's why we're taking a step forward by launching a feature across the country that prompts drivers to go offline for six straight hours after a total of 12 hours of driving time," the company added.
With that said, Uber is also launching a new feature that will count the current driving time of their drivers. As a driver gets closer and closer to the 12-hour driving limit, the app will start to issue periodic notifications.
Once the maximum driving time of 12 hours has been reached, the Uber app will then go offline and will remain that way until six continuous hours have passed. During this six-hour break, the driver using the app will not be able to see trip requests.
When the mandatory six-hour time has passed, the driving time is reset and the app can then go online again to receive trip notifications, for a new 12-hour driving time limit. This 12-hour limit is not a constant, though, and the app may enforce shorter or longer maximum times depending on local regulations or state rules, as Ars Technica points out.
"It's an issue for all who share the road. We want to encourage people to use Uber responsibly," Susan Hendrick, an Uber representative, said about drowsy driving.