Uber is introducing a new policy that requires all drivers in the U.S. to take a six-hour break after driving for 12 hours straight. This policy will be strictly enforced by an app countdown that automatically warns drivers when they are approaching their maximum driving limit.
The 12 hours of consecutive driving is based on how long the driver spends driving while online in the Uber app. If they are pulled over or stopped somewhere, that time will not be counted. According to the Washington Post, Uber will not track hours drivers spend offline for Uber but driving for a competing service like Lyft.
The reason Uber is rolling out this initiative is to prevent drivers from dangerous driving due to drowsiness. In the past, Uber has let drivers work on their own time, since they are independent contractors.
Uber actually already had a 12-hour limit on drivers in select cities in the U.S. starting in February 2016. These cities include New York and Chicago, after the New York Post released information that drivers were pulling 19 hour shifts -- definitely not safe for passengers.
So, if you're an Uber driver, get ready to cut your shifts short. While some have had negative reactions to these working restrictions, it has been reported that drivers who work longer than 12 hours are 24% more likely to crash compared to those who drive for less.