Recent media reports, including one published by CNN, indicate that truck driver fatigue is believed to have played a crucial part in the death of famed comedian James McNair and might have also caused four other individuals, including actor Tracy Morgan, to have sustained critical injuries. Although police officials have not yet released a statement establishing a cause for the semi truck accident, media reports claim that a semi truck driver who was working for Wal-Mart was driving while fatigued and neglected to notice that traffic ahead had slowed down. Instead of braking well in advance to avoid a collision, the semi truck driver allegedly smashed into the limousine carrying Morgan, McNair and their companions. Consequently, the truck driver has allegedly been charged with one count of vehicular death and four counts of vehicular assault.
FMCSA Updates Semi Truck Safety Legislation
According to a Wal-Mart spokesperson, the company does not believe that the driver violated its semi truck safety hours of service requirements. However, according to a police report, the semi truck driver was allegedly awake for 24 consecutive hours. The use of electronic HOS recorders reportedly showed that the driver was approaching his maximum driving time.
Recognizing the seriousness of driver fatigue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released a report in June 2014 in which the agency stated that semi trucks that are equipped with electronic records to log a driver’s hours of service are 49 percent less likely to incur non-driving related HOS violations as well as 53 percent less likely to violate the FMCSA’s HOS regulations than semi trucks that are not equipped with this technology. The FMCSA updated its semi truck safety legislation in 2013 to:
- Require that semi truck drivers rest for 30 minutes during the first eight hours on the road;
- Limit the driving work week to 70 hours, a reduction from the previous 82-hour maximum; and
- Require that semi truck drivers only resume driving after 70 hours if they rest for 34 consecutive hours.
Semi Truck Safety is Important
A semi truck accident may occur for several reasons such as driver fatigue, overloaded cargo, speeding, driving while distracted, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, inadequate truck maintenance, brake or tire failure and more. No matter the type of accident, no amount of financial compensation or prison time can fully restore the damage caused or the lives lost by a fatigued, drowsy, distracted or drunken driver. However, those who have been injured may still wish to seek legal representation from a semi truck safety attorney in an attempt to seek compensation to aid in restoring their lives to the fullest extent possible.
Do You Need a Semi Truck Safety Attorney?
Attorney Group knows how devastating accidents involving semi trucks can be, particularly if the incident results in the permanent disability or death of a loved one. We provide free, comprehensive case evaluations for those who have been injured in a semi truck accident and who wish to learn more about pursuing a claim for compensation. We can help answer your questions and place you in contact with a local affiliated semi truck safety attorney who can assist you in pursuing your claim.