Everything You Need to Know About Impaired Truck Driving Accidents
According to a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Administration, there were 3,341 fatal accidents involving commercial trucks and more than 60,000 additional injury accidents. Of these crashes, 45% involved truck drivers who were under the influence of some type of drug. Truck drivers carry a heftier responsibility when they take to the road simply because their vehicles are so much larger than other vehicles on the road, and can, therefore, do more damage to more people. For this reason, impaired truck drivers are an extremely dangerous concern.
The study broke down drug use as a cause of these trucking accidents according to the type of drug. Drivers found to be intoxicated by illegal drugs made up about 2% of the accidents nationwide, while 17% used over-the-counter drugs, and 26% used prescription drugs. Most drugs, be they legal or not, have the power to alter a person’s driving capabilities. Even simple cold medicines can cause severe drowsiness, with other medicines can affect vision, cause light-headedness, nausea, and a host of other issues.
Truck drivers should be aware of the impact medication can have on their ability to drive, as all medicines should warn of the potential side effects. More importantly, commercial drivers are not legally permitted to drive when they are under the influence of drugs, be they illegal or otherwise. Driving while impaired can result in serious repercussions, including license suspension, time behind bars, costly fees, and more.
However, despite the danger, numerous semi-truck drivers continue to use drugs while driving. One study found roughly 30% of drivers admitted to using amphetamines, 20% admitted to marijuana use, and 3% said they used cocaine. Drivers found guilty of using illegal drugs while operating a commercial vehicle could face drug charges in addition to charges related to driving, and could face serious time in prison.
Accidents involving semi-trucks are often extremely damaging and typically involve more than 2 vehicles. These types of crashes may result in broken or fractured bones, serious contusions, lacerations, sprained muscles, concussions, whiplash, back injuries, or even death. If you were injured by a truck driver who was operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may have a right to compensation. Drugged driving is negligent and can, in certain circumstances, be seen as reckless endangerment of other lives. These drivers should be held responsible for their actions and liable for any damage you or your loved one sustained as the result of their behavior.
Contact Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP for a free consultation recording your truck accident case in Birmingham, Alabama.