MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Uber is ordering some of its hardest workers to take a time out.
The reason is simple, to keep riders from getting in a car with a drowsy driver behind the wheel.
CBS4’s Amber Diaz caught a ride with Uber driver Russell Seuradge, who was on his second shift of the day.
“I worked from nine [in the morning] to one [in the afternoon] and then I went home did some school work, cooked some dinner for my girlfriend when she came home, walked the dogs, then I’m back on the road at seven [in the evening] and I’m probably going to work till about 11 [at night],” Seuradge said.
Seuradge explains that he has other side jobs and driving can be a lot of work in itself, so if he’s too tired, he just won’t drive.
“If I’m driving for Uber or just going down the street to get groceries and I’m too tired, ill just wait,” he said.
Its that kind of thinking Uber wants all its drivers to have.
On Monday they announced a new feature on the app to help drowsy drivers.
“After 12 hours of driving they will receive a notification in the app asking them to take a six hour break,” said Javi Correoso with Uber.
The new feature won’t let Uber drivers access the app until those six hours are up.
It will also alert drivers when they’re close to the 12-hour mark.
“Twelve hours is more than enough for anybody to work in a day,” said Seuradge. “I don’t see why anybody should be driving that long but I don’t know anybody else’s situation at the end of the day.”
The latest survey from the National Sleep Foundation reports nearly seven million people admitted to dozing off behind the wheel within the same two weeks.
The new change might be a big wakeup call for more than 50 percent of drivers, but Uber says its a call that can’t be ignored.
“60 percent of our drivers drive between 15 to 10 hours a week, but we do have a good number of drivers that drive more often and safety is very important,” said Correoso.