Following news of a serious truck accident involving comedian Tracy Morgan in 2014, Kentucky drivers may be wary when having to share the highways with large semi-trucks. This feeling of unease is not necessarily unwarranted, as accidents involving trucks kill approximately 4,000 people nationwide every year. In order to combat this, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended a number of changes that they suggested should be made in 2015.
In 2013, there were 3,964 fatalities that resulted from truck accidents, a 17 percent increase from 2009. A major factor associated with truck drivers is driver fatigue. This phenomenon was believed to be a cause in the crash that left comedian Tracy Morgan with serious injuries and four others dead; it was reported that the driver had not gotten any sleep for approximately 24 hours. In order to reduce driver fatigue, the NTSB recommended that employers impose driving plans that manage fatigue better and screen for potential sleep disorders.
The NTSB also made recommendations for other areas of transportation in addition to the trucking industry. For example, they also released recommendations to increase rail tank-car safety, drug and alcohol impairment and distracted driving. However, it is important to note that while the NTSB can put forth recommendations for improvement, the board has no authority to actually regulate any of the transportation sectors.
Truck accidents can have a wide range of causes that may include driver fatigue, distracted driving and even speeding. While many truck drivers take safe driving very seriously, others may attempt to cut corners in order to make their deadlines. If a truck driver causes a crash because they were driving while fatigued or distracted and another person suffers an injury, the injured person may file a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney may assist the injured person with documenting the total cost of damages associated with the crash.