Comedian’s crash brings attention to drowsy truckers

Taking breaks in a business where "miles mean money" may be frowned upon or even discouraged. However, those who are driving large semi-trucks on the nation's roadways need to take the risk of involvement in a truck accident due to drowsy driving seriously.

Many major media outlets are taking the risk seriously. The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal have all run pieces outlining the risks and tragic consequences of this risk. The recent spotlight on the issue is connected to the tragic accident that involved comedian Tracy Morgan, of Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock fame. The comedian was in a van traveling with his entourage when rear ended by a tractor trailer. The driver of the truck is facing multiple charges and prosecutors argue a lack of sleep played a key role in the crash.

Regulations in place to protect drivers, passengers from drowsy truckers

The Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has a variety of regulations intended to reduce the risk of truck accidents connected to fatigue. The agency reports that there were 3,380 victims killed in truck accidents and 74,000 more injured in 2009 alone. The FMCSA notes that these numbers can be reduced, even though they are currently at historic lows. The agency further notes that although these overall statistics are low, fatalities connected to truck accidents increased in 2010 by almost nine percent while the rate connected to car accidents continued to decline.

Changes to regulations are being considered to further protect the nation's roadways, but trucking organizations are pushing back. These critics to proposed reform argue that current proposals limiting the amount of night driving could actually increase risk since it would put more trucks on the roads during peak travel hours.

Remedies available for victims

The true travesty of these accidents is the fact that they can easily be avoided with breaks, rest and a manageable driving schedule. Drivers and parent companies that cause accidents that injure others because they chose to overlook safety and violate regulations to focus instead on production can be held accountable for their actions.

If you or a loved one was injured in this type of accident, contact an experienced truck accident attorney. This legal professional can review the details of your case. You may be eligible to receive compensation from the guilty parties to help cover the high cost of rehabilitation, medical treatment and potentially lost wages.