As new details surface in the semi-truck accident case involving comedian Tracy Morgan last summer, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has determined that the driver of the truck was primarily to blame for the accident, which caused one fatality, numerous injuries, and left Morgan with a traumatic brain injury.
The most shocking news to emerge from the NTSB investigation is that the driver had been awake for more than 28 hours at the time of the crash. Reports state that he had driven 800 miles from his house in Georgia, then immediately started his shift in Denver, Colorado. The driver did not stop to sleep in between his 800-mile drive and the start of his shift.
NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart stated: “Hours-of-service rules cannot address what drivers do on their own time. This driver had been on duty 13½ hours of a 14-hour workday, but had been awake more than 28 hours at the time of the crash. Fatigue management programs can help.”
Call for Fatigue Management Programs
Although the NTSB has hours-of-service rules in place to limit the amount of time a commercial truck driver is on the road, these rules are often ignored by drivers as well as commercial carriers, who push their operators to bend and break the rules in favor of profits.
One potentially good thing to emerge from the tragedy is a push for commercial carriers to implement meaningful changes and policies that encourage drivers to comply with hours-of-service rules. The NTSB suggested that “driver fatigue education” and fatigue management programs could go a long way toward educating operators about the dangers of driving on too little sleep. New York Senator Chuck Schumer has also called for greater monitoring of truck drivers by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a semi-truck accident, you have important rights. Contact my office today at (912) 265-9811 to discuss your case.
This article has been prepared by J. Alan Welch Law for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.