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Federal study of trucker hours underway after Morgan accident

Last year, we discussed the tragic truck accident involving actor and comedian Tracy Morgan. Morgan suffered severe injuries after a speeding Wal-Mart truck collided with the limousine bus carrying Morgan and six other people. Morgan's friend was killed in the accident. It was later discovered that the driver of the Wal-Mart truck had not slept in over 28 hours. He had driven 800 miles overnight from his home in Georgia to a distribution center in Delaware, then started out on his delivery route.

Numerous truck accidents are caused by tired drivers every year and Federal lawmakers are going to try to put a stop to it. The Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act renews federal surface transportation programs through 2020. This Act has required the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to conduct a study on truck drivers and their long commutes. The study was originally part of the Truck Safety Act introduced by Senator Cory Booker in July of this year.

Tracy Morgan's accident was cited in the provision which mandated the study. The National Transportation Safety Board who investigated the accident found the cause to be the truck driver's lack of rest.

Despite federal regulations, driver fatigue remains a common cause of truck accidents. In many cases, drivers are forced to drive while tired due to unrealistic schedules and trucking company expectations. Many drivers fear that they will be reprimanded if they fail to meet their deadlines, so they drive when they are in no condition to do so. With studies like these being conducted, lawmakers may be able to come up with a solution to help prevent truck accidents caused by drowsy drivers from occurring, therefore saving countless lives.

Source: NJ.com, "Congress demands study of trucker hours after Tracy Morgan crash," Johnathan Salant, Dec. 1, 2015

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