A pilates teacher who was knocked unconscious when her Uber minicab crashed and flipped over today demanded tougher controls on the phone app’s drivers.
Emma Davey, 27, suffered serious concussion and whiplash in the accident at Kennington after her driver allegedly fell asleep.
Ms Davey said the number of hours drivers can work should be more strictly controlled and claimed the driver started nodding off shortly after he picked her up on a Sunday morning.
She was travelling from her Putney home to a course in Bermondsey when the car crashed into a bollard.
She said: “I noticed his driving was a little odd, there was a lot of swerving and people started beeping at him. I was keeping an eye on him as I felt he was falling asleep at the wheel.”
Ms Davey said she then took her eyes off him for a moment and that’s when the crash happened. “The car flipped onto its side and I blacked out after hitting my head. The next thing I know, there are two men shouting at me from outside the car asking if I can get out. I was in tears and in a huge state of shock.”
Ms Davey, who runs her own business as a pilates studio equipment teacher and now lives in Kingston, said she was taken to St George’s Hospital in Tooting for X-rays after the crash on March 29. She was discharged later suffering from severe concussion and whiplash.
“I had to take a month off and lost around £3,700,” she said. “My physio actually signed me off for longer due to the concussion but I just couldn’t afford to not work.”
She is now pursuing a compensation claim through the driver’s insurance company, and added: “I’m just so annoyed that my life was put at risk by a driver who is probably doing stupid hours. There needs to be better regulation. There has to be a cap on the number of hours they can do at any one time. Uber needs to put something in place.”
A Met police spokesman said the driver was questioned by officers at the scene but no further action was taken.
Jo Bertram, regional general manager for Uber, said: “Uber is fulfilling millions of trips a month in London alone, and fortunately accidents are incredibly rare. Like some other private hire operators and taxis, all Uber drivers are self-employed and as such have the flexibility to work what hours they choose. However, driver hours are strictly monitored and there is a robust process in place to ensure drivers do not drive tired. We have been in regular contact with the rider to offer our full support.”
Uber added that it monitored working patterns to ensure a driver does not work for too long consecutively, or for excessive hours in a given week, and also used customer feedback “for any signals that might flag any issues with a driver’s driving.”
Source; London Evening Standard