You may have heard about the trucking accident that seriously injured actor and comedian Tracy Morgan and killed comedian Jimmy McNair. The truck driver who crashed into their limousine van is alleged to have been sleepless for 24 hours before the crash. Fatigued drivers are less attentive and often fall asleep so federal regulations are in place to prevent this type of reckless conduct and protect the motoring public. But, a fight is now underway in Congress on just how tough those regulations should be.
In fact, just days before the Tracy Morgan accident, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed an amendment which would suspend the regulation which requires truckers to take an extended break from driving after reaching weekly limits. Under current regulations, if the driver has driven 70 hours over 8 days or 60 hours over 7 days, there is a mandatory restart requirement which provides the driver must take 34 hours off. But, a group of senators including Cory Booker, Dianne Feinstein, Charles Schumer, Elizabeth Warren and others think these regulations save lives and have introduced an amendment which would keep these important safety regulations in place.
According to the senators involved in the amendment, the number of deaths caused by truck accidents nationwide has increased 16 percent since 2009 and the number of injuries has increased by 40%. On average, more than 4,000 people lose their lives and another 100,000 are injured in truck crashes. In Tennessee, in 2013 alone, the big four counties of Davidson, Knox, Hamilton and Shelby saw over 4,000 large truck crashes. Given these statistics, we find it hard to believe that anyone would suggest the regulations should be weakened.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident and you would like to talk to one of our award-winning lawyers in a free, no-obligation consultation, call us anytime at 615-742-4880 or toll-free at 866-812-8787. Of course, one of the first things we do as part of our investigation into the crash is review the driver’s logs to determine if he or she is over the allowable service hours. But, we also do much more to prove your case. For more information on trucking accidents, click here. For more information on our fees and expenses, click here.