Uber has introduced a new policy for its driver-partners across Sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria inclusive) which will hopefully prevent it drivers from working when they are drowsy as well as enhance driver/passenger safety.
The new feature (previously been rolled out in some other countries) known as the “hours policy” will see Uber drivers in Nigeria being prompted to go offline for 6 straight hours after a total of 12 hours of driving time and will take effect from today.
In a statement the ride-hailing company said:
Uber already has features like an in-app notification that reminds drivers to take a break when feeling tired on the road and advises drivers to take breaks if they are feeling tired. The new driving hours policy is an additional feature that will help improve safety on the roads for all.
Why is Uber Committed to Combating Drowsy Driving?
Drowsy driving is an issue for road users, as the role of fatigue cannot be underestimated when studying the causes of crashes. Driver fatigue crashes are not only caused as a result of spending too long behind the wheel, fatigue can also be caused by too little sleep and stress.
Have bus drivers been checked with uber drivers for overworking?Accidents with buses/uber are now a daily danger to the public @DailyMailUK
— manized (@manized69) August 16, 2017
This is a very big issue to Uber, as there have been complaints of Uber drivers having to overwork and drive till they are exhausted to make more money. Some drivers will even take supplements to keep themselves alert and work for more than 12 hours a shift.
I thought their tv ads say drivers go from work to play, whenever they want. Are they actually overworking themselves?
Oh, and I won't ride.
— Heineken Tom (@theheinekentom) July 12, 2017
This is why Uber is committed to doing its part to help prevent drowsy driving.
We want to promote safe and responsible use of the Uber app and this feature has tremendous potential to protect not only Uber driver-partners, but also their passengers and, ultimately, all road users. Driver-partners in Nigeria are already driving responsibly, but safety is one of our key pillars and we believe this new feature will be adding one more safety layer. — Lola Kassim, General Manager, Uber West Africa
How Would this Work?
The new feature on the driver app is an automatic shut down after a 12-hour shift has been recorded. The new feature will send an alarm warning when the driver reaches 10 hours and a further warning at the 11th hour; it will then close the app on the 12th hour (but they would be allowed to complete any trip they are currently on).
Then, the Uber driver app will not open for the driver until 6 hours from the shut-down time.
So, drivers who do not take long and enough break would not be able to log into the app to take trips before the 6-hour period expires after which drivers can go back online to receive trip requests.
This feature will be a phased roll-out and not all driver-partners will see this right away.
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