DUI Can Lead To Truck Accidents
Commercial truck drivers are understandably held to a higher standard for driving safety than drivers of regular motor vehicles. Since they drive large vehicles that dwarf regular passenger cars, these trucks can cause severe damage and injury if they cannot stop in time or otherwise lose control and cause a collision. Unfortunately, because commercial truck drivers spend so much time on the highway on an almost daily basis, they may have increased confidence in their driving abilities. This means that some drivers may believe that they have the capability to drink alcohol or use other illegal substances and still keep control of the truck. Anyone injured by an impaired driver should call an experienced attorney today.
Truck drivers and alcohol use
Commercial truck drivers often spend long hours alone on the same monotonous roads and highways, sometimes not seeing their families or friends for days at a time. It is understandable that this kind of profession can get lonely and can even induce depression in many cases. Unfortunately, many truck drivers suffering from depression or other mental conditions do not seek the medical attention they need and instead attempt to self-medicate by drinking alcohol. Under such circumstances, substance abuse can become a serious issue and a truck driver can use poor judgment and drink before driving or even while on the road. Other truck drivers may simply drink alcohol because of boredom or because they chose to socialize at drinking establishments on their rest breaks.
Commercial driver are held to a stricter standard when it comes to drinking and driving, however, as the legal limit set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)1 is 0.04 percent for commercial drivers, as opposed to 0.08 percent for regular drivers. This means that only about two drinks may be enough to cause a driver to be impaired.
Truck drivers and drug use
Similar to alcohol use, many commercial truck drivers use illegal drugs2 out of boredom or for self-medication. Additionally, however, a great number of truck drivers try to use different types of drugs to stay awake behind the wheel longer. Many of these stimulants can be extremely dangerous because, while they may give the driver a greater feeling of alertness, they do not actually make the driver more alert. Therefore, some drugs can actually increase a driver’s confidence in their driving ability while impairing their skills, concentration, and reaction time.
The main types of drugs that commercial truck drivers reported using for various reasons include the following:
*Prescription drugs (without the proper prescription)
Random drug and alcohol testing by trucking companies
In addition to providing harsh consequences for truck drivers who are caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the FMCSA also requires3 trucking companies to perform random drug and alcohol tests on their drivers. These tests are usually before a shift when the driver reports to work. Failing these tests can result in suspension of the driver’s commercial license, suspension of the driver from work, and mandatory substance abuse evaluations and treatment.
Furthermore, if a driver causes an accident and injuries, they should be tested for drug or alcohol use to see if impairment played a role in causing the accident. The results of this test are very important for injured victims as they may use signs of impairment as evidence that the driver was negligent and should be held responsible for all of their injury-related losses.
Call a qualified truck accident lawyer in Clearwater, Florida for help today
There is no excuse for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, especially for commercial truck drivers. If a truck driver gets behind the wheel while impaired, they endanger all other motorists on the road around them and should be held as liable as possible for any accidents or injuries that occurred as a result. At the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, we are committed to helping victims of DUI truck accidents receive the maximum possible amount of compensation from the dangerous driver that caused their accident.
We always offer free consultations and case evaluations with no obligation from you, so please contact our office today at 727-451-6900 for help.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756