Just before 5 a.m. on Tuesday, May 31, a commercial bus veered off the road and flipped onto its roof while driving north along I-95 through Caroline County, Va. The bus was identified as Sky Express, taking passengers from Greensboro, N.C., to Chinatown in New York City. Tragically, four of the 58 passengers were found dead at the scene of the bus accident. Numerous other passengers were injured. Police have announced the cause of the accident as driver fatigue, and prosecutors charged the driver with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. Driver fatigue is a serious concern for all truckers and bus drivers traveling long distances over periods of several days. Driving for hours on end disrupts normal sleep cycles and causes sleep deprivation, leading to impaired judgment and longer reaction time. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that truckers behind the wheel for periods of longer than eight hours have twice the risk of getting into an accident. In January 2004, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration revised the hours of service rules for truckers to increase the time drivers had to take off daily. However, the revision also allowed drivers to drive more hours daily and weekly. According to Institute research, the revised rules have not increased safety. A survey of long distance drivers in Pennsylvania and Oregon shows that truckers are driving for longer periods of time and have more instances of falling asleep while driving. The damage caused by fatigued drivers is distressing and often irreparable. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by driver fatigue, please contact the experienced Mobile, Alabama, accident attorneys at Long & Long, for a free consultation.

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