As a truck accident attorney, I am concerned about safety issues such as driver fatigue, a common factor in fatal truck and commercial vehicle wrecks. As the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) considers a change to the hours-of-service rules, a recent fatal bus crash illustrates the dangers of driver fatigue.
Following the accident in Virginia, which killed four people and injured dozens more, the New York Times reported that the driver was arrested on reckless-driving charges. State police, who ruled out mechanical problems in the May 31 wreck, said driver fatigue was a factor in causing the crash. The bus swerved off of Interstate 95 during the morning rush hour and overturned about 30 miles north of Richmond.
According to the Times, the FMCSA has cited the North Carolina-based bus operator, Sky Express, for dozens of violations, including driver fatigue, unsafe driving, driver fitness, and vehicle maintenance. Since May 2009, the company has had 46 driver-fatigue violations, along with four crashes. It has also been cited 17 times over the past two years for unsafe driving, including eight speeding violations.