NTSB Says Truck Driver in Tracy Morgan Accident Awake More Than 28 Hours
A truck driver who caused an accident involving a limousine carrying actor and comedian Tracy Morgan on the New Jersey Turnpike last summer was recently found to have been awake for more than 28 hours before the accident occurred.
According to a report by abcnews.com, the accident happened around 1 a.m. on June 7, 2014, when the 35-year-old truck driver was in the 13th hour of his 14-hour shift. Prior to beginning his shift, the man had already undertaken a 12-hour drive from his home Georgia to Delaware where his trucking company is located.
The National Transportation Safety Board’s review of the accident found that the man’s 12-hour drive prior to beginning his 14-hour shift was a factor in the crash that seriously injured Morgan and killed a passenger in his limousine.
The review also found that the truck driver had been traveling at 65 mph—which was 20 mph over the posted speed limit of 45 mph in the construction zone where the accident occurred.
Morgan suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident, including multiple broken bones and a traumatic brain injury.
Important Safety Regulations and Requirements for Truck Drivers
All drivers are subject to traffic laws designed to keep themselves, their passengers, and other motorists safe on the road. But because of the extreme weight and size of their vehicles, truck drivers must follow additional safety regulations as dictated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Some of the most important regulations enforced by the FMCSA include:
- Sleep and rest schedules
Driving while sleep-deprived or fatigued is extremely dangerous, as studies show that sleep deprivation produces similar effects as alcohol or drug intoxication. Truck drivers are required to maintain regular sleep schedules and to never drive for longer than their recommended shift limits. In addition, truck drivers also must take regular breaks during their shifts in order to rest and recover while behind the wheel.
- Licensing and training requirements
At a minimum, most truck drivers in the U.S. are required to have CDLs—commercial driver licenses. These special licenses require extra testing beyond standard driving tests and prove that the applicant or license holder is qualified to drive large commercial vehicles. Other types of trucks, including those hauling hazardous materials and chemicals or trucks that carry oversized loads also require additional licensing and tests.
- Alcohol and drug restrictions
Driving any vehicle on public roadways while intoxicated or impaired after consuming alcohol or using drugs and prescription medications is prohibited by law in Tennessee and throughout the U.S. Truck drivers face even stricter requirements, with many undergoing random drug and alcohol testing to make sure they remain safe and sober behind the wheel at all times. In addition to facing stricter testing requirements, truck drivers also face long-term consequences if they are caught driving while impaired, which can include immediate termination and even a permanent ban from ever working as a truck driver in the future.
Drivers in Middle Tennessee must share the roadways with big trucks on a daily basis, and while the vast majority of truck drivers are law-abiding and safety-conscious, it only takes one negligent driver to cause a serious accident. And while there’s nothing that can take away the pain and suffering that come with truck accidents, victims are often eligible to receive compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and more.
If you or someone you love was injured in a truck accident caused by a driver who broke the rules, get in touch with the Nashville truck accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law today. We know the ins-and-outs of the trucking industry, and we can know how to investigate accidents to determine how many violations occurred in the days, hours, or even minutes before it happened. To get our experienced legal team on your side, dial (800) 200-1111 or fill out a free online consultation form.