MERCER COUNTY, NJ – Driving experts and law enforcement will tell you that driving tired can be as dangerous as driving drunk.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, fatigue is a leading factor in large truck crashes.
Unfortunately, this weekend may be a jarring reminder of this when a truck crashed into Tracy Morgan’s limo on the New Jersey Turnpike at 1 a.m., killing comedian Jimmy Mack and injuring several others including Morgan, who remains in critical condition.
While the cause of the crash is still under investigation, some key factors are surfacing and it sounds like driver fatigue is one of them.
The truck driver, 35-year-old Kevin Roper was awake for more than 24 consecutive hours before the crash.
Just days before this deadly accident the senate moved to weaken trucker fatigue rules. A committee passed an amendment that would suspend the requirement that truck drivers rest for at least 34 consecutive hours before beginning their next work week.
It’s hard to understand why the Senate would push for this, reducing rest hours for truckers puts everyone on the road with them at risk just like Roper, except now he’s got a different kind of road ahead of him.
While he’s out on bail now, he’ll be fighting vehicular homicide and assault charges.