Las Vegas is the largest resort city in the world. Because of this, there are an abnormal number of taxi cabs operating in Las Vegas during any particular day. Uber has joined the flow of passenger transportation. The introduction of the flexible Uber independent driver model has traditional taxi companies rushing to keep up.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported in 2015 that Southern Nevada cab owners are placing greater demands on their drivers, often pushing them to driver several 12-hour shifts each week. Las Vegas taxi drivers are then pushed to their limit, as one driver told the Review-Journal. This unidentified driver said many drivers ask to be sent home due to exhaustion, but are pushed six days.
The National Sleep Foundation noted a few problems that could easily become yours if the driver taking you around the city has been pushed too hard.
- Impaired reaction time, judgment and vision. This could have an effect on a taxi driver’s ability to stop or avoid hazards on a Las Vegas street or highway.
- Problems with information processing and short-term memory. Drivers may forget where they’re going, leading to repeated corrections in their course. They are likely to become frustrated by this and overlook safety.
- Increased moodiness and aggressive behaviors. Emotions are a distraction for drivers, and fatigue only brings them to the surface. Between the stress of navigating Las Vegas traffic and moving on to the next fare, this lack of emotional control could lead to rash actions on the roadway that could lead to a deadly accident for you and the driver.
Some taxi drivers aren’t tired, they’re just negligent. You may be surprised to find a cabbie tweeting while driving you down the Las Vegas strip. Texting drivers or those using some other communications device while operating a vehicle are 20 times more likely to crash than those who simply keep their eyes on the road.
If your driver is repeatedly checking their phones, you have a right to ask them to stop. If they persist, you may need to ask them to stop so you can immediately get out. Of course, if you’re on a busy road, ask them to take the next exit and find a safe place to let you out.