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Sleep scientists have established that going to work fatigued (i.e. extremely tired or drowsy) is like going to work drunk. Unfortunately, this revelation has been largely ignored by transportation firms and people are needlessly dying and being seriously injured as a result.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood criticized the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which he manages, for taking way too long to put the negligent bus operator, Sky Express, out of business. Sky Express was the operator responsible for the I-95 bus wreck.

The cause of that tragic rollover bus wreck in Caroline County, North Carolina (NC) was driver fatigue. If that wasn’t bad enough, Sky Express was cited seven times since October 2009 for violating federal hours-of-service regulations requiring adequate rest for drivers, according to the United Transportation Union. The negligent company also received an "unsatisfactory" safety rating in April from the FMCSA.

Unfortunately, the I-95 bus crash is not the only mass transit accident that can be attributed to driver fatigue. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that driver fatigue was responsible for a 2008 bus crash in Utah that killed nine people, and a 2004 bus wreck in Arkansas that took the lives of 14 people.

A serious bus accident near New York City which killed 15 people remains under investigation. The bus company involved in this tragic bus crash has been cited five times in less than two years for allowing tired/drowsy drivers to operate its vehicles.


About the Editors: The Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.

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