Tracy Morgan’s days in the hospital are coming to a close soon hopefully.
The actor and comedian is now upgraded to “fair” condition and his publicist says: “Happy to pass along that Tracy has been upgraded to fair condition, which is a great improvement.”
The actor was in a horrific bus and car crash on the New Jersey turnpike that left him in critical condition, killing one ember of his entourage. The accident killed longtime collaborator and comedian James McNair and injured others in the SUV.
Passenger Jeff Millea’s family shared that his condition has also improved to fair.
“Happy to pass along that Tracy has been upgraded to fair condition, which is a great improvement,” Morgan’s publicist Lewis Kay said. “His personality is certainly starting to come back as well.”
Morgan was admitted to hospital with a broken nose, femur, leg, and ribs after a Walmart truck crashed into his limousine SUV on the New Jersey Turnpike early June 7.
CNN reported that truck driver Kevin Roper pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide and assault last week before being released on $50,000 bail. The criminal complaint accuses Roper of “recklessly” operating his vehicle on no sleep for more than 24 hours.
Morgan’s accident brings sleep deprived driving back into the news. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2005 Sleep in America poll, 60% of adult drivers – about 168 million people – say they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy in the past year, and more than one-third, (37% or 103 million people), have actually fallen asleep at the wheel! In fact, of those who have nodded off, 13% say they have done so at least once a month. Four percent – approximately eleven million drivers – admit they have had an accident or near accident because they dozed off or were too tired to drive.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year.
- There is no test to determine sleepiness as there is for intoxication, i.e. a “Breathalyzer”.
- State reporting practices are inconsistent. There is little or no police training in identifying drowsiness as a crash factor.
- Every state currently addresses fatigue and/or sleepiness in some way in their crash report forms. However, the codes are inconsistent and two states (Missouri and Wisconsin) do not have specific codes for fatigue and/or fell asleep.
- Self-reporting is unreliable.
- Drowsiness/fatigue may play a role in crashes attributed to other causes such as alcohol. About one million such crashes annually are thought to be produced by driver inattention/lapses.
- According to data from Australia, England, Finland, and other European nations, all of whom have more consistent crash reporting procedures than the U.S., drowsy driving represents 10 to 30 percent of all crashes.