Fatigued truck drivers cause numerous catastrophic accidents each year. Unfortunately, it took one such accident involving a well-known celebrity to focus the nation’s attention on the fatal consequences of tired tractor trailer drivers.
As extensively reported by the media, comedian Tracy Morgan recently suffered multiple and severe injuries when a large commercial truck rear-ended the limo in which he was riding. The truck flipped the limo several times. Another passenger in the limo was killed in the crash.
According to police investigators, the Walmart driver was awake for 24 hours straight prior to the serious trucking accident.
Federal regulations were enacted in 2013 to address the dangers of tired semi-truck drivers. Called the Hours of Service Rules, among the safeguards it issued was a 72-hour work week for over-the-road truck drivers. The previous cap was 80 hours.
However, just two days prior to the Tracy Morgan trucking accident, a Senate committee voted to suspend the Hours of Service Rules in response to trucking company backlash. The American Trucking Associations, the trucking industry’s lobbying group, has gone on record as in favor of suspending – if not eliminating – the rules.
The Teamsters Union, which counts commercial truck drivers among its members, does not support repeal of the driving hour restrictions. In media reports, Teamster President James P. Hoffa was quoted as saying that the horrific accident injuring Morgan and killing a fellow passenger, “could have been prevented had Walmart’s driver been properly rested.”
All the facts have yet to be uncovered in that catastrophic accident. We don’t know why the driver was awake for a full day or whether or not he placed himself in that situation.
There can be multiple reasons for fatal trucking accidents. Victims of catastrophic trucking accidents have a right to pursue compensation for the damages and losses they’ve incurred. Attorneys experienced in trucking accident investigations can identify the responsible parties and hold them accountable.