Truck accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, including inclement weather, poor roadway design, and the fault of other drivers. They can also occur because of a trucker’s failure to follow safety rules applying to truck drivers and other commercial carriers. One of these rules, or rather sets of rules, concerns hours of service.
Florida readers may have heard about the recent truck accident involving actor-comedian Tracy Morgan. The accident, which occurred on Sunday on the New Jersey Turnpike, left Morgan and two others with critical injuries and another dead. The man responsible for the accident, a truck driver for Wal-Mart, had apparently fallen asleep at the wheel just prior to the crash.
According to investigators, the trucker’s fatigue was due to the fact that he had been awake for over 24 hours prior to the crash. Wal-Mart has stated that the truck driver is believed to have been in compliance with federal hours-of-service regulations, which govern how often truckers are to take rest breaks. The investigation is ongoing, and it will be interesting to see whether this becomes an issue.
Driver fatigue is not an isolated problem among commercial carriers. Not only truck drivers, but also tour bus drivers, are prone to falling asleep behind the wheel. When this happens, serious injuries can occur. Those who are harmed in such accidents can really benefit from working with an experienced attorney who can help identify the important issues that need to be addressed and take advantage of available legal protections.
Source: South Florida Times, “Tracy Morgan Recovering From Fatal Auto Crash,” David Porter, June 11, 2014.