A fatal trucking accident in which a Wal-Mart truck driver crashed into comedian Tracy Morgan’s limo bus has raised concerns over fatigued truck drivers. According to reports, Wal-Mart truck driver Kevin Roper, 35, had been driving for more than 24 hours without rest at the time of the crash.
Roper pleaded not guilty to one count of vehicular manslaughter and several counts of assault by auto in a New Jersey courtroom Wednesday. Morgan and two others were listed as being in critical condition, and comedian James McNair, 62, died in the crash.
The accident spurred an investigation into the safety of commercial truck drivers by the National Transportation Safety Board investigators and has brought attention to the already heated issue of driver fatigue. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, driver fatigue plays a huge factor in the roughly 4,000 fatal tuck accidents that occur each year.
Scientists have said sleep deprivation can produce the same effects as alcohol and inhibit judgment and slow reflexes. But, the trucking industry continues to set unrealistic deadlines for drivers and push boundaries.
The amount of hours a driver should be allowed to travel without rest has been topic of debate for years. In fact, a proposed change to federal regulations backed by the trucking industry and strongly opposed by safety advocates would allow commercial truck drivers to put in more hours behind the wheel than they already do.
The change, which was added to a transportation spending bill last week, would allow truck drivers to be behind the wheel for up to 82 hours a week. This is a jump from the current limit, which is 60 or 70 hours, depending on the company.
Truck driver fatigue is a major problem that can lead to serious injury and death. In light of the tragic accident, the Connecticut personal injury lawyers of Berkowitz and Hanna LLC are announcing that they are available to investigate potential injury and wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of people that are injured trucking accidents and their families.
Berkowitz and Hanna LLC advocates for clients injured by negligence such as truck driver fatigue. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, we may be able to help you recover compensation for medical bills and other potential damages.
Berkowitz and Hanna LLC has made a public comment on this saddening accident. Read more in the press release here.
To learn more, contact us today.