October 27, 2020 5 min read
The problem of drowsy driving among Uber and Lyft drivers had become so dangerous that those two companies started limiting drivers' shifts.
At Uber, drivers need to take six hours of rest in between every 12 hours of work. At Lyft, it's six hours between every 14 hours of work .
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine said in a statement :
However, the AASM considers these limits to be insufficient since many ridesharing drivers work multiple jobs or drive for more than one ridesharing company, and they often drive late at night and early in the morning when sleepiness may peak.
The question is of great concern because in the United States, drowsy driving kills an estimated ~800 people a year in 90,000-some accidents, says the National Sleep Foundation in its article How To Stay Awake On The Road .
The AAA says the numbers are even more alarming than what the NSF announced:
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that an average of 328,000 annual crashes in the U.S. involve a drowsy driver, including 109,000 that result in injuries and 6,400 that involve a fatality. The National Transportation Safety Board also included “reduce fatigue-related accidents” on its 2017-2018 Most Wanted List of the 10 most critical changes needed to reduce transportation accidents and save lives. 
The problem is so bad that the American Academy of Sleep Medicine issued a statement on it:
“We are dealing with a public safety issue, where low fares and salary incentives compel drivers to continue driving past their safety limits. They may be unaware of the huge risks they are taking or have the false belief that sleep is overrated. Their customers, meanwhile, usually aren’t asking themselves, ‘How alert is my driver right now?’ They aren’t even thinking about drowsy driving. This is a formula for disaster,” said senior author Dr. Indira Gurubhagavatula, an associate professor of medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. “We need to raise awareness and gather information. Without accurate estimates of how common this is, or regulation, it’s the wild west of transportation out there.”
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine gives some signs to be aware of when you are driving drowsy :
Pull over or have another passenger take the wheel if you experience any of the following warning signs of drowsy driving:
The only problem is, an Uber of Lyft driver can't very well let someone else drive for them, and their passengers would likely not appreciate it if they pulled over and slept.
So, what should they do?
If an Uber, Lyft, or taxi driver starts to nod off at the wheel, you can get a temporary boost from caffeine that may help you to get your pax (passenger) to their destination.
Because you don't necessarily want to fill up on liquids while driving around for hours at a time, consider taking caffeinated Viter Energy Mints with B vitamins . They have 40 mg of caffeine in each mint, so taking two is the caffeine equivalent of a cup of coffee.
Other tips on staying awake, from the National Sleep Foundation, include:
As we at Viter Energy Mints reported in this blog , many trucking sites say you should chew gum, play loud music, or keep the interior so cool that you're uncomfortable. The SleepFoundation.org says these are myths: These practices do not lessen drowsiness .
In a discussion thread at UberPeople.net , several of the drivers say they stay awake by eating sunflower seeds.
Another woman says:
Tired? STOP. Take a nap. 15 minutes will do wonders. I carry one of those horseshoe shaped pillows. Tip the seat back, set the timer, lock the car and it's off to dream land. Wake up, walk around the car while opening doors and checking things out. Now you're ready to drive.
Another poster concurred:
Nothing works better than a power nap. Took 2 this morning when I was charging up my car.
Outside of 14 hour work days, which is pretty unsafe so please stop doing that as you are operating a motor vehicle and can injure/kill yourself and/or others, sticking to an actual wake/sleep cycle will do wonders to speed up the process of not getting drowsy. I used to do alternating shifts; earlier on weekdays and later on weekends; but found myself burning out consistently over a 4 month time span. 
If you are a taxi, Uber, or Lyft driver and find yourself feeling drowsy, you are far better off getting off the road. The long-term costs of a crash can far outweigh the short-term costs of losing income from getting off the road early.
Stay safe on the road by not driving when you're too tired. For more safety tips for Uber and Lyft drivers, check out the video below.
May 06, 2021 4 min read
Being a lawyer is so stressful that 44 percent of practicing attorneys wouldn't recommend the field to a young person.
Stress can wreck your general quality of life, provoke anger, cause you to drink, and even ruin your sex life (egads!). And it's like a feedback loop: The more of these types of problems you have, the more stress you experience.
Read on for the signs of stress and burnout and how to deal with them.
May 04, 2021 5 min read
Coffee beans are very stable chemically, even when roasted. That means coffee beans don't lose much caffeine in the roasting process.
However, light-roasted coffee beans are denser and heavier because they lose less water, so they have more caffeine per bean.
Dark-roasted coffee beans are less dense and weigh less. So you need to use a bigger volume of dark beans to get the same amount of caffeine in an equal volume of light-roasted beans.
But be cautioned, if you use a larger volume of dark beans, you are likely to have a very strong pot of coffee.