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Fatigue wasn't the only factor in Tracy Morgan crash, NTSB says

The last time we talked about the serious truck accident that injured actor and comedian Tracy Morgan and killed one of his colleagues was back at the end of June. In our post about the crash, we focused on the fact that driver fatigue was the likely cause of the crash as it had been reported that the truck driver who plowed into Morgan's limousine had not slept in more than 24 hours.

Though driver fatigue is a major issue in the commercial trucking industry, this was not the only factor that led to the seriousness of the truck crash that fateful day on June 7, 2014. According to a new report, released this month by the National Transportation Safety Board, drowsiness, the truck's speed, seat belts and improperly adjusted headrests all played a factor in the crash.

As the report explains, the Wal-Mart truck driver had not slept in 28 hours, causing fatigue and slow reaction time. This caused the driver to fail to notice speed limit signs telling drivers to slow to 45 mph through the construction zone. Prior to the crash, the truck was travelling at 65 mph. If the driver had slowed to the recommended speed limit and had not been fatigued, he would have had enough time to react to his surroundings and stop in enough time to avoid an impact.

But as the NTSB points out, the Wal-Mart truck driver is not 100 percent to blame for the seriousness of the crash. As the Board concluded in its report, none of the limousine passengers, including Morgan, were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident. Coupled with improperly adjusted headrests, occupants of the vehicle's cabin were "whipped around or thrown into the sides of the vehicle," leading to the serious injuries suffered by the passengers. It's also believed that this is why comedian James McNair died in the crash.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "NTSB cites driver fatigue as cause of turnpike accident that injured comedian Tracy Morgan," Joan Lowy, the Associated Press, Aug. 11, 2015

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