Comedian Reflects on Tragic Truck AccidentJuly 5, 2019
Nearly five years ago, actor and comedian, Tracy Morgan, was involved in a devastating traffic accident that claimed the life of his good friend, and caused Morgan to suffer serious injuries, including several broken bones and a traumatic brain injury. After performing his comedy show in Dover, Delaware, Morgan and his friends were traveling northbound on the New Jersey Turnpike when a tractor-trailer rear-ended Morgan’s minibus, which caused a multi-vehicle accident. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the truck driver was largely to blame for the accident after it was revealed that he had been awake for over 24 hours at the time of the accident.
Truck Accidents and Drowsy Driving
Unfortunately, drowsy driving is a significant problem among truck drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 100,000 accidents each year are caused by truck drivers who are drowsy, or who doze off while driving. Close to 1,500 fatalities and 40,000 injuries are linked to drowsy drivers. Safety experts found that a driver who has been awake for 17 hours or more can exhibit the same driving impairments as drunk driving, including impaired judgment, slower reaction times, and decreased visual acuity.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, along with other trucking agencies, have developed hours of service rules, which limit the number of hours a truck driver can be on duty before they must take a break. However, because of tight deadlines and pressure from their trucking companies, truck drivers often remain behind the wheel longer then they should. Many truckers do a fair share of driving at night, which can be extremely dangerous if the driver is already tired.
The truck driver involved in the Tracy Morgan accident was driving a Walmart tractor trailer, and Walmart has since settled a lawsuit with Morgan. According to the NTSB Chairman, Walmart did not have a fatigue management program in place for their truck drivers. However, since the accident, Walmart has taken steps to improve its driver fatigue education and policies. The NTSB has urged them to create an effective fatigue management program as well.
While the Walmart truck driver was mostly to blame for this tragic accident, an NTSB report revealed that none of the passengers in Morgan’s minibus were wearing seat belts at the time of the accident. In addition, the vehicle had been modified, so emergency responders had to remove a plywood panel that had been installed between the cab and the passenger compartment, which delayed the emergency evacuation.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Truck Accidents
If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident involving a drowsy truck driver, you are urged to contact the Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will determine whether the truck driver involved in the accident was drowsy at the time of the crash and ensure that you receive the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. We will continue to fight for you until justice has been served. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent truck accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.