Driver Fatigue and Excessive Speed Cause Devastating Semi Truck Accident
Comedians Tracy Morgan and James “Jimmy Mack” McNair were involved in a limousine and truck accident on June 7, 2014 on the New Jersey turnpike. The accident involved a Wal-Mart semi tractor trailer and a limousine carrying seven people including the comedians. The Wal-Mart semi driver was traveling 65 miles per hour in a 45 miles per hour speed limit zone and failed to break in time for slow-moving traffic ahead, which lead him to rear-end the limousine. Unfortunately, the accident killed James McNair and left Tracy Morgan and four other passengers seriously injured.
The National Transportation Safety Board declared that the driver of the semi truck was awake for twenty-eight consecutive hours before the crash. He had woken up on June 5 to drive 800 miles and twelve hours from his home in Georgia to a Wal-Mart facility in Smyrna, Delaware. His driving shift began at 11:22 a.m. on June 6th and the accident occurred at 12:54 a.m. on June 7th. The National Transportation Safety Board believes that played a serious factor in the crash. They also believe that if he was going to speed limit and braked in time, the accident could have been completely avoided.
As a result of this accident, Wal-Mart now requires drivers to live within 250 miles of the facility they report to work or at least be at that starting point nine hours before their shift begins. Wal-Mart has also decided to create a “fatigue management program” to educate drivers, dispatchers, managers, and their families about the need to get a good night’s sleep before reporting to duty. Additionally, the National Transportation Safety Board wants the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to require such programs and measures nationwide.
Causes of Large Truck Accident
Driving while fatigued can be as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol. Commercial truck drivers are vulnerable to fatigue because their jobs require them to work for long hours. As a result, there are strict guidelines regulating how many hours a commercial truck driver can work each day. These hours of service regulations are established by the FMCSA, a division of the United States Department of Transportation. Nevertheless, these regulations are often violated causing devastating accidents.
Contact a Semi Truck Accident Attorney in Tampa
If you have been in a truck crash in Tampa, contact the Capaz Law Firm to speak with an experienced semi truck accident lawyer today. We will fight aggressively to hold the at-fault party responsible.