Truck drivers have always been under constant pressure to get to their destinations as quickly as possible. And the fact that some truck drivers push their physical limits to make better time and increase their profits is nothing new. However, after actor and comedian Tracy Morgan was seriously injured in a truck accident in New Jersey last year, truck driver fatigue has finally gotten the attention it deserves.
Resting Requirements for Truck Drivers
Truck drivers all must abide by certain state and federal regulations when it comes to how much time they spend resting and how much time they spend out on the road. The nuances of the rules are confusing, but suffice it to say that drivers need to take short breaks every few hours to rest their eyes, as well as longer breaks every few days to “reset” their system between long hauls.
To enforce these requirements, state and federal governments require that truck drivers maintain logs of their driving and rest times. These “rest logs,” however, have historically been the focus of some controversy because they can easily be changed or forged.
Tracy Morgan’s Accident
Last year, Tracy Morgan was heading north on the New Jersey Turnpike with his entourage when the limo-bus they were riding in got stuck in construction traffic. As the vehicle was waiting in traffic, a Wal-Mart truck slammed into the rear of the limo-bus, traveling at highway speeds. There was no indication that the driver slowed down at all. Morgan was critically injured, and his good friend and fellow comedian James McNair was killed in the accident.
Investigators looked into the accident and determined that the driver of the truck had been without a break for the past 24 hours. Police arrested the man, and after a lengthy investigation, he was charged with manslaughter charges in the later part of last year.
Bringing Drowsy Driving to the Forefront
While it is unfortunate that it took such a tragedy to bring truck driver fatigue to the center stage, the accident certainly put the media’s focus on the dangers of drowsy truck drivers. In fact, one news source notes that legislatures across the country are looking at how they can be stricter when it comes to drowsy truck drivers. This effort has also extended to the operators of other mass-transit means, including railway operators.
Have You Been Injured by a Drowsy Truck Driver?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a serious truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for all that you have been through. While you may not know immediately after the accident whether the truck driver was complying with all regulations at the time of the accident, a skilled attorney can conduct a thorough investigation into the driver’s record and rest log to see if anything fishy comes up. And even if it doesn’t, truck drivers can be found to be at fault in an accident for a number of reasons. To learn more about Maryland truck accident, and to speak with an attorney about your injuries, call 410-654-3600 to set up your free consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
NHTSA Seeks Additional Safety Feature in Hopes of Reducing Fatal Under-Ride Accidents, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published December 17, 2015.
Truck Drivers Will Be Required to Use Electronic Recording for Drive and Rest Times, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published January 13, 2016.