As you have likely heard, last week, a truck accident occurred which left comedian Tracy Morgan critically injured and another man dead.
Last Saturday in New Jersey, Morgan and several other individuals were riding in a limo bus that was going along the New Jersey Turnpike. Purportedly, the limo bus was in slowed traffic. According to authorities, a Walmart truck then crashed into the limo bus. One of the occupants of the limo bus was killed and Morgan and three other occupants suffered injuries. As of Thursday, Morgan was listed in critical but stable condition.
A major question that has come up in relation to this crash is: was the Walmart truck driver sleep deprived at the time of the accident? It is vital for truck drivers to only drive when they are properly rested, as drowsy driving by a truck driver can make them a risk to everyone that is on the roads with them.
Authorities have alleged that, in the 24-hour period prior to the accident, the truck driver had gotten no sleep. It has not been reported what led to police reaching this suspicion.
In relation to these allegations, charges of assault by auto and vehicular homicide have been brought against the truck driver. He has submitted a not guilty plea in regards to the charges.
The accident remains under investigation. One wonders what conclusions will ultimately be reached in this investigation and the above-mentioned criminal case regarding what exactly happened in the accident and who was at fault.
Given the accusations leveled in relation to the accident, the crash raises some larger questions for people in all states, including here in Texas, to consider. These questions regard the trucking industry and sleep. How widespread is drowsy driving among truck drivers? Are trucking companies doing enough to prevent truck driver fatigue? Are federal and state regulations regarding truck driver rest and work limits currently strict enough? What is the best way to prevent sleep deprivation among truck drivers?
What are your thoughts on such questions?
One hopes that preventing truck driver fatigue will be a high priority for the federal government, state governments, trucking companies and truck drivers in upcoming months and years.
Source: CNN, “Trucker in Tracy Morgan crash pleads not guilty amid sleep deprivation reports,” Faith Karimi and Ray Sanchez, June 12, 2014