In 2014, comedian Tracy Morgan’s limousine was slammed into by a Walmart truck driver on the New Jersey Turnpike. The truck driver had been awake for more than 24 hours. Tracy Morgan suffered a traumatic brain injury, and spent more than one year healing before returning to his career.
Last week’s accident in Bridgewater also involved a drowsy semi-truck driver. In this case, two semi-trucks collided. One of the drivers fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into the other semi-truck. Both drivers were flown to nearby hospitals and treated for injuries.
Both truck accidents were the result of fatigued driving.
3 Possible Solutions for Preventing Fatigued Driving
Fatigued truck drivers cause too many accidents, in our state and elsewhere. Solutions presented by private companies and regulators for resolving this public safety issue vary.
- Hours of service: Hours of service are supposed to prevent truckers from driving for too many consecutive hours. Commercial drivers may also find ways to ignore these rules without getting caught. A recent court ruling on electronic logging devices may help catch drivers skirting hours of service rules.
- Mandatory sleep apnea testing: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has recommended screening drivers with high body mass indexes for sleep apnea. Commercial drivers with this condition may suffer from daytime drowsiness caused by poor sleep.
- Technology: Companies like Volvo and Uber are creating vehicles that can drive themselves with limited assistance. Uber’s self-driving semi-truck just made a 120-mile delivery of 50,000 beers from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs. The “driver” sat comfortably in the back observing the trip’s progress. If trucks are driving themselves, are fatigued truckers still a threat to other motorists?
How would you prevent fatigued driving among commercial truckers? Would you incorporate one of these solutions, all three or one of your own? Let us know by connecting with the New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Keefe Law Firm on Facebook.