Driver Fatigue in Taxis and Ride-Share Vehicles Put Passengers at Risk

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Madeleine Jones
August 31, 2017

a nervous driver, car accidentDriver fatigue has a major impact on car accidents involving commercial taxis, ride-share vehicles, and other transportation services. Extreme fatigue, chronic sleepiness, and sleep disorders are associated with increased rates of passenger injuries and fatalities. If you or a family member was seriously injured in car accident, or you lost a loved one, call a Las Vegas accident attorney at Cogburn Law Offices today for a free case consultation.

Driver Fatigue in For-Hire Vehicles

Recent studies show that fatigue and sleep deprivation increases the risk of vehicle accidents and injuries involving taxis, ride-share vehicles, and other public transportation services by as much as 30 percent. Data shows that ride-share drivers and minibus/van/pickup drivers have a higher rate of chronic fatigue and sleep disorders than commercial taxi drivers. Competition, long hours, and monetary incentives are believed to be responsible for the difference in accident and injury rates seen by a car accident lawyer.

Studies also reveal that chronic fatigue and sleep deprivation in drivers are linked to higher rates of depression, anxiety, stress, and aggressive behaviors. Data shows that younger drivers with less experience have higher incidences of risky behaviors behind the wheel and aggressive behaviors towards passengers and other drivers on the road.

Some ride-share drivers from Uber and Lyft have stated that company incentives encourage them to accept more rides within a limited time period. Drivers say that cash incentives and bonuses can range from $40 to $85 dollars for drivers who reach 55 rides in four consecutive days or reach 55 rides from Friday at 4 a.m. to Monday at 4 a.m. Incentives often contribute to long driving hours resulting in sleep deprivation and chronic fatigue that increase the risk of accidents and injuries for both drivers and passengers.

In New York City where people rely on taxis and ride-share vehicles as a general mode of transportation, ride-share accidents and injuries are high. Between 2014 and 2016, ride-share accidents tripled from 534 to 1,672 resulting in five fatalities, while taxis reported no fatalities during the same period. Higher accident rates are linked to:

  • Lack of Training – Unlike taxi drivers, ride-share drivers receive little, if any training. Many ride-share drivers have full-time jobs and supplement income by driving at night.
  • Lack of Regulations – Taxicab companies must follow regulatory guidelines to operate passenger services, while ride-share companies face few municipal, state, and federal regulations.
  • Lack of Vetting – A required taxicab permit can’t be obtained by an individual with a DWI conviction on his or her record over the past 10 years. Most ride-share companies don’t perform background checks or driving record checks on drivers.

If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a rideshare company in Nevada, contact one of our experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyers today for a free case consultation.