The human body was not meant to stay awake for 24 hours. If this basic fact is ignored, drivers and trucking companies put everyone else on the road at risk of being involved in a tractor trailer accident.
There is a reason we have federal hours of service laws for truck drivers: truckers may only drive a maximum of 11 consecutive hours after 10 consecutive hours of rest. This is extremely important as at full capacity, these drivers are responsible for what can be 80,000 pound vehicles. When drivers ignore the federal truck regulations, people die.
The recent auto accident involving actor and comedian Tracy Morgan shows how deadly these violations can be. Morgan, 45, was traveling in his limo when a Walmart truck slammed into it on the New Jersey Turnpike. There has been one reported death and many critical injuries. Truck driver Kevin Roper, 35, was allegedly awake for more than 24 hours when the wreck occurred.
Who is Liable for Truck Collisions?
Walmart has issued a statement saying that it will take full responsibility for the crash if it turns out that the truck caused the accident. The driver will face criminal charges, but we still do not know who is truly responsible for this wreck.
Did the driver decide to violate these hour restriction laws on his own? Did his employer set unreasonable deadlines that forced him to stay awake? An investigation should look into all these questions and more.
Victims of truck wrecks and their surviving family members must act quickly if they want to seek justice. Important evidence in truck crash cases, such as driving logs and internal communications, have a habit of disappearing after serious wrecks like this. A skilled accident attorney can preserve vital evidence before it is too late.