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Tracy Morgan Crash Sparks Debate Over Truck Driver Fatigue Rules

The truck driver involved in the fatal truck accident that critically injured the actor and comedian was reportedly fatigued.

DALLAS, TX, USA, July 3, 2014 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Actor Tracy Morgan was recently involved in a fatal truck crash that left him critically injured. As the actor and comedian continues to recover from the accident, lawmakers, safety advocates, and others are debating over the Senate’s recent move to lighten federal rules related to truck safety.

Morgan crash fuels debate over tired truckers

“The trucking industry has been sparring with safety advocates and unions over driver hours for two decades, including several trips to federal court. Safety advocates, while extending their sympathies to Morgan and the family of comedian James "Jimmy Mack" McNair, who was killed in the crash, said they hope that because a celebrity was involved in the accident it will boost their cause.”

For more information about the proposed change, please visit http://legalnews.findlaw.com/article/26e73de5a3fb96c22fd9b0ab81423452.

However, Just days prior to the accident, the Senate Appropriations Committee added a change to a transportation spending bill that would among other things, increase the number of hours truck drivers can spend behind the wheel per week. The measure would also suspend a requirement that truck drivers rest for a specified number of hours prior to restarting their work week, which was a rule implemented to reduce truck driver fatigue.

Just Days Before Tracy Morgan Accident, Senate Moved To Weaken Trucker Fatigue Rules

“Last week, the committee passed an amendment that would suspend a requirement that truck drivers rest for at least 34 consecutive hours -- including two nights from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. -- before beginning their next work week.

The new rules also limit the maximum average work week for truck drivers to 70 hours, a decrease from the previous maximum of 82 hours, and require drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.”

For more information about the proposed trucker fatigue rule changes, please visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/08/truck-safety_n_5468742.html.

The truck driver involved in the crash that injured Morgan was arrested and charged with death by auto and multiple counts of assault by auto. A complaint alleges he had not had sleep in over 24 hours prior to the accident, which legal advocates like the law firm of Eberstein & Witherite suggest is an example of why Congress should not lighten up on rules concerning truck driver fatigue or safety. With driver fatigue being linked to a significant percentage of the nearly 4,000 deaths that occur each year involving large or commercial trucks, allowing truckers to be on the road additional excessive hours without sufficient rest creates a danger zone, the firm says.

Amy Witherite, a founding partner of the Eberstein & Witherite firm, says the timing is impeccable for Morgan’s accident to have drawn national headlines as the new rules in Congress regarding truck industry safety are being debated. Although tragic, the accident helps shed light on a serious issue that may have otherwise been swept under the rug, due to the public’s lack of knowledge on the need for strict rules related to truck driver fatigue.

Witherite’s firm helps those who have been involved in a truck accident in Dallas, Houston, or surrounding areas get just compensation for damages they’ve incurred by the bad actions of negligent truck drivers or companies. Those who have been involved in a Texas truck accident can contact the Eberstein & Witherite law firm today for a free case review.

Amy Witherite
Eberstein & Witherite Truck Wreck Lawyers
214.378.6665
email us here

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