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Report: Fatigued Driver to Blame for Tracy Morgan’s Accident

The National Transportation Safety Board has determined that the Wal-Mart truck driver who hadn’t slept in over a day was responsible for a 2014 crash involving comedian Tracy Morgan. Morgan suffered severe injuries last summer when the truck crashed into Morgan’s limousine-van.

One comedian in the limo died, and Morgan and two others were left in critical condition. None of the passengers in the 10-passenger vehicle were wearing seatbelts, which the NTSB said contributed to their injuries. Morgan has since improved and did his first television interview 12 months after the crash.

The NTSB found that the driver had gone 28 hours without sleep, driving from Georgia to Delaware. He then continued driving, striking the van from behind while on the New Jersey Turnpike. Overall, the crash impacted 21 passengers in six vehicles. The driver has pleaded not guilt to death by automobile and four counts of assault by automobile.

Tight deadlines and federal violations

Fatigued drivers are responsible for as many as 35 to 40 percent of truck accidents. Failing to get enough rest may result in slower reaction times, an inability to assess hazardous situations and to assess level of fatigue and falling asleep at the wheel — similar to drunk driving. Large trucks are involved in 12 percent of fatal accidents, doubling to 25 percent in work zones, as was the case in the Morgan accident.

Federal regulations require that truck drivers stop after 11 consecutive hours on the road, and then must break for 10 hours. Drivers may operate a maximum of 60 to 77 hours during a seven-day period. However, drivers may face pressure from trucking companies to meet tight deadlines, causing them to violate these safety rules.

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury due to the negligence of a fatigued driver, contact an experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyer at McMenamy Law LLC.