A comedian gets killed, while Tracy Morgan and three more passengers were rushed to the hospital for treatment following a crash on the New Jersey turnpike. According to the State Police, a Wal-Mart truck driver, Kevin Roper, didn’t see the slow-moving traffic near Cranbury town. The truck slammed into the limousine bus where Morgan, his mentor “Jimmy Mack” McNair and several others were.
Aside from the two vehicles, two more cars, an SUV and another tractor-trailer, were also involved in the crash. Only those in the limousine bus were injured. McNair didn’t survive the accident. Morgan was injured, but is recovering. Investigations are still investigating even though initial reports suggest that Roper had not slept for over 24 hours prior the collision. Roper was charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. Wal-Mart Stores, through its President Bill Simon, said that they will take full responsibility if authorities find that their truck caused the accident.
Sleepy truck drivers
Falling asleep behind the wheel is a serious problem for semi-truck drivers. They have tight schedules and quick turnarounds to make. However, that is no excuse to drive with no sleep and risk harming others. It’s no secret that when a car is involved in a truck accident, the truck is going to do a lot more damage to the car than the car to the truck. In the accident above, the truck driver’s lack of sleep may have contributed to the crash.
For instance, picture yourself filling out a form or working in front of the computer when all of the sudden your eyelids become heavy. You know it’s impossible to think clearly, so you choose to let yourself rest first. You don’t want to risk a mediocre output. Now image that same scenario while driving. The stakes are very high. By law, truck drivers must rest so often to prevent drivers from becoming too tired and causing an accident. In order to enforce this, the drivers must keep a log of their hours. However, many of these logs are handwritten and can easily be forged. Companies are developing computerized logs that make recording hours more accurate, but these systems aren’t in every truck yet.
What you can do
If you’re driving and you notice a truck, or any vehicle for that matter, swerving, varying in speed consistently or driving over the rumble strip on the side of the highway repeatedly, have a passage in your car notify the police or call the number on the back of the semi-truck. We do not want auto accidents to happen, and this is one way we can help prevent them.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I would like to stress the importance of being alert while driving. If you feel sleepy, ask others to drive or have someone drop you off at home. There’s nothing to be ashamed of for feeling sleepy, but there is definitely a high price to pay for pushing beyond our driving limits.