According to recent reports, truck driver fatigue is believed to have played a vital role in the death of comedian James McNair and may have also caused the injuries sustained by four other individuals, including actor Tracy Morgan. While officials have not yet stated how the event unfolded, media reports allege that a Wal-Mart truck driver failed to notice that the traffic ahead of him was slowing down and swerved to avoid hitting the car in front of him. However, the semi truck allegedly hit the limousine bus and instead caused a multiple-vehicle accident that left Tracy Morgan in critical condition. As a result, the truck driver has been charged with four counts of vehicular assault and one count of vehicular death in connection with the accident.
Semi Truck Safety Legislation Updated
A spokesperson for Wal-Mart reported that the company feels as though the driver was meeting his Hours of Service requirements and was not driving while fatigued. However, officials believe that the driver had not slept in the 24 hours prior to the collision. Still, Wal-Mart and other companies use electronic timekeeping and tracking devices to ensure that their drivers are following the semi truck safety laws put in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Administration.
A report released by the FMCSA in June 2014 found that trucks equipped with electronic-hours-of-service records have 49 percent lower non-driving related HOS violation rates and 53 percent lower hours of service violations than the commercial vehicles that do not use them. In 2013, the FMCSA updated its hours of service regulations to:
- Reduce the work week from an 82-hour maximum driving time to 70 hours;
- Require truck drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift, and;
- Allow drivers who reach a maximum of 70 hours of driving within one week to resume if they rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two nights between 1-5 a.m.
Importance of Semi Truck Safety
A semi truck accident can occur for any number of reasons, including driver fatigue, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, inadequate truck maintenance, brake failure, overloaded cargo and more. For this reason, it is important to seek legal counsel to file a lawsuit against those responsible and attempt to recover damages for your injuries.
Contact a Semi Truck Safety Attorney in Alabama
If you or someone you love has been injured in a semi truck accident in Alabama or you have concerns about Alabama semi truck safety, please contact Attorney Group for Alabama today. We can help answer your questions and connect you with a local affiliated attorney in Alabama who can assist you in filing a lawsuit. Contact us today for your free consultation.