Missouri readers may remember that actor-comedian Tracy Morgan was in the
news quite a bit last year after a serious highway accident in New Jersey.
Initial reports of the accident indicated that the truck driver who was
involved in the accident had been severely fatigued at the time of the
crash, and that this was likely a factor.
Last month, after months of investigation, the National Transportation
officially announcedthat driver fatigue did have a big part to play in the accident, even though
the trucker was technically in compliance with federal hours of service
regulations. As readers may know, hours of service rules put limitations
on the amount of time truckers can spend each day and week behind the wheel.
In the Tracy Morgan case, the trucker had apparently driven 800 miles to
work, prior to even beginning his shift. The 12 hour drive prior to beginning
his shift is seen as a big reason why the trucker ended up being fatigued
during his shift. The amount of time spent commuting to a job, interestingly,
is a point that the federal hours of service rules don’t cover.
The rules are really only concerned with a driver’s shifts, not
with what drivers to on their own time.
Ensuring that truckers have adequate rest when they are on the job is not
an easy task, even with regulations are in place and regularly enforced.
Those who are harmed in an accident with a trucker do well to explore
violations of federal law when building a strong personal injury case.
In our next post, we’ll talk about another interesting finding of
NTSB regarding the Tracy Morgan crash.