Driving while tired can affect anyone on the roads – including Uber drivers. If an Uber driver drives for too many hours, they’re not only putting themselves at risk. Their passengers, other vehicle occupants, and pedestrians may be at risk, too.
You may wonder if there are hour limits for Uber drivers in Texas. The Haun Mena Uber accident lawyers in Houston explain.
Does Texas Have Uber Driver Hour Limits?
There is no Texas law imposing hour limits for Uber drivers. However, Uber imposes a 12-hour limit for drivers before requiring a break. In reality, a driver could continue driving for another transportation network company or other reasons. If time expires mid-trip, the driver may complete the trip.
Does Houston have hour limits for Uber drivers?
The City of Houston has no hour limits for Uber drivers other than what Uber voluntarily imposes. Houston used to have Uber regulations with hour limits. However, when the State of Texas passed sweeping Transportation Network Company laws in 2017, the laws superseded city ordinances throughout the state. (Chapter 2402 – Transportation Network Companies).
(Texas Statute § 2402.003 says that transportation network company law is the exclusive power and function of the state and may not be created by a municipality. In addition to Houston, the statewide regulation effectively nullified Uber driver hours limitations in Dallas, Austin and San Antonio.)
Signs of Drowsy Driving for an Uber Driver
- Slowed reaction times, stopping slowly
- Yawning, head falling, eyes closing
- Varying speeds
- Drifting within a lane
- Not reacting promptly to dangers
- Violating traffic laws
- Slurred speech, delayed response to questions
Texas Uber Driver Hour Limits
Title 14 – Motor Vehicles, Chapter 2402 – Transportation Network Companies imposes significant regulations on rideshare companies including Uber. There are disqualifying criminal convictions for drivers, a statewide permit and fee system, and vehicle requirements. However, the law doesn’t impose hour limits for drivers.
The only thing that the rideshare law says about hours is that rideshare drivers are considered independent contractors if the company does not require them to be logged into the network during certain hours. (§ 2402.114).
Hour limits imposed by Uber in the United States
Even though Texas law doesn’t impose hours for Uber drivers, the rideshare company voluntarily imposes limitations.
In the United States, when Uber discusses “Driving-hour limits” on its website, Uber publicly states only that state and local regulations may impose hour limits. However, in a news article from 2018, they say that the app tracks driver hours and goes offline when a driver reaches 12 hours of driving time. In the United States, they call the time tracking system a feature of their app. In Uber’s web pages geared towards other countries (Australia, New Zealand), they publicly call this feature a Fatigue Management System.
The 12-hour driving time limit is measured by total drive time. Breaks and periods stopped waiting for passengers don’t count. It could take a driver significantly longer than 12 hours to max out when breaks are included.
A driver receives warning signs as their time limit approaches. At the limit, the app goes dark for six hours. After their six-hour break, a driver can begin another 12 hours.
Texas Negligence Laws Apply to Uber Drivers
Even though Texas doesn’t impose strict time limits for Uber drivers, Texas negligence laws apply to all drivers, including rideshare drivers. Negligence is any behavior that creates an unreasonable risk of harm. Drowsy driving is negligence. A driver may be liable if an accident occurs.
Do Texas commercial driver hour limits apply to Uber drivers?
No. Texas law imposes hours limitations for commercial drivers in the state. Rules that apply to commercial drivers are:
- 8 hours off before a shift
- 12 hours maximum, 15 hours on duty total
- 70 hours total in 7 days
- 34 hours off to reset the 70-hours/7-day limit
These rules don’t apply to Uber drivers. They are more strict. Rideshare drivers in Texas aren’t required to have a CDL.
Talk to an Uber Accident Lawyer in Houston
At Haun Mena, we are Houston Uber accident lawyers. We understand the rules and regulations that may apply when an Uber accident occurs. We look at whether laws and policies were violated and what parties may have acted negligently.
If you have been hurt in an accident involving an Uber driver, we invite you to contact us to talk about your situation and how our lawyers can assist you. Contact us today.