Truck accidents often involve serious injuries or even fatalities. While there are many causes of truck accidents, sleepless driving seems to be a top cause. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driving with too little sleep causes more than 100,000 truck accidents each year, resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths.
One case in point may be the fatal truck accident that left comedian Tracy Morgan critically injured. The criminal complaint among other allegations, alleged, that the Wal-Mart truck driver had not slept in more than 24 hours.
The Facts of the Accident
Kevin Roper, a Wal-Mart employee who was driving a company tractor trailer at the time of the accident, failed to see traffic slowing in front of him as he drove on the New Jersey Turnpike and slammed into the limo bus carrying Tracy Morgan and several other comics and friends. The impact flipped the limo on its roof and caused a chain reaction accident involving four other cars. While the truck driver was not injured, Morgan and two other passengers were transferred to a local hospital in critical condition. Comic James McNair died at the scene of the crash.
Roper is facing criminal charges for vehicular homicide and injury by auto. The complaint claims that Roper had not slept in “excess of 24 hours,” which is a criminal violation of New Jersey state law.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that operators of commercial vehicles, such as Wal-Mart trucks, are restricted to driving a maximum of 11 hours a day after spending a minimum of 10 hours off duty. The reason for this law is to help prevent fatal crashes that occur as a result of overly tired and overly worked truck drivers.
According to federal data, Wal-Mart trucks have been involved in 380 accidents since 2012, resulting in nine deaths and 129 serious injuries. Although not all of these accidents may have been avoided, most may have been if the drivers and their employers followed the important federal guidelines regulating the trucking industry.
Call an Experienced New York Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a truck accident, you should call the experienced New York truck accident attorneys at Gersowitz, Libo & Korek, P.C. at 1-800-529-9997. We will fight for your rights and help you get the full extent of the compensation that you deserve.