Was drowsy driving to blame for Tracy Morgan accident?

Drowsy driving is a common phenomenon among many commercial motor vehicle drivers.

The multi-car accident that injured actor and comedian Tracy Morgan and left one person dead may have been the result of drowsy driving, according to reports. Officials indicate the truck driver allegedly responsible for the crash may not have slept for more than 24 hours prior to the accident.

Wal-Mart, the truck driver's employer, has since indicated that the commercial vehicle he was driving had been equipped with certain safety systems. For instance, the vehicle should have automatically slowed down and informed the driver when traffic was stopped. Whether the safety systems were operating at the time of the collision is uncertain.

This tragic accident has caused many people to question whether enough action has been taken to reduce truck accidents caused by drowsy drivers in the U.S.

Will drowsy driving regulations be repealed?

Just last year, stricter guidelines were put in place to ensure truck drivers were alert when behind the wheel. The regulations allow a 70-hour workweek for truck drivers. Truck drivers are required to take a 34-hour break - including a minimum of two nighttime periods - after completing their workweek. Each day, truck drivers are limited to driving a maximum of 11 hours.

Despite the concern regarding fatigued truck drivers, an amendment was recently introduced in the Senate that would allow truck drivers to disregard the regulation, while further studies are conducted.

Drowsy driving common among truck drivers in the United States

Allowing fatigued truck drivers on the road can have serious consequences for those traveling in smaller vehicles. Injuries are often severe and the likelihood of fatalities is high, due to the comparative size of large trucks to other vehicles on the road.

Estimates vary regarding the number of truck accidents caused by drowsy driving in the United States. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, fatigue is a factor in over 30 percent of large truck accidents in the country. The Department of Transportation estimates that around 13 percent of truck accidents are caused by drowsy drivers.

Specific data regarding drowsy truck drivers is difficult to obtain, as those responsible for crashes may be hesitant to admit they fell asleep while behind the wheel.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, you should take action to protect your interests. In such cases, it is a good idea to talk to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, who will work on your behalf to obtain the compensation to which you may be entitled.

Keywords: drowsy driving, truck accidents