Truck Accidents Due to Substance Abuse
Getting into the habit of consuming alcohol or drugs is bad enough. It affects the way people act, think, and feel. When the person consuming these substances gets behind the wheel of a truck, the consequences can impact not only themselves but many people around them. That is why in 1991, the U. S. Department of Transportation passed the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act which not only recognizes that alcohol abuse and illegal drug use represent a significant danger to the safety and welfare of all the inhabitants of this country but requires agencies across the nation to frequently test truck drivers for the use of these substances.
Should a driver fail this test or be detained for a DUI, the trucking company has every right to prevent the driver from continuing to operate the truck and this disqualification can last from one year to life.
Truck Drivers’ Use of Alcohol and Other Drugs
The stress of the job, the long uninterrupted hours looking at the road, the demands placed on them by the trucking company to deliver their loads on time, the fatigue, taking extra shifts for overtime pay, and the loneliness, all put drivers on the treacherous road to alcohol or drug use. While some substances, such as cocaine or amphetamines, may help them stay awake, they can also provoke vertigo and hallucinations.
Being Involved in a Truck Accident Due to Substance Abuse
Truck drivers, that turn to drugs or alcohol, represent a danger to themselves and all drivers around them. As a car driver, you should be aware of the fact that this is a very common phenomenon and it contributes to plenty of highway fatalities every year. Knowing this can make you more careful and alert when passing by one of these large vehicles and may save your life.
However, accidents do happen at the moment when you least expect them. Trying to get to their destination faster also prompts truck drivers to engage in dangerous conduct such as speeding or performing dangerous lane switches. Given the weight and size of the average commercial truck, these maneuvers pose a serious risk to drivers around them.
Blood Alcohol Limits for Truck Drivers
While any car driver is subject to a 0.8% blood alcohol limit, truck drivers are held to a higher standard, slashing this number to 0.4%. This number could easily be reached by consuming one can of beer.
Gathering Evidence After a Truck Accident Due to Substance Abuse
As a victim of a truck accident due to substance abuse, you are entitled to receive compensation for your medical bills, which can be substantial. Also for lost wages and other hardships you may be experiencing. You may also be able to receive punitive damages that would provide you additional compensation.
However, for your claim to be successful it is necessary to gather as much evidence as possible. It is especially important to gather the evidence that you will only have access to while at the scene of the accident. Make sure to get testimonies from witnesses as well as their information, take pictures to document the accident and the vehicles involved, call the police to get a report, and seek medical attention right away.
The team of truck accident attorneys at the Eslinger Law Firm is ready to help you with your case. Since we work on a contingency basis, there is no out-of-pocket cost to you. We will conduct a thorough investigation and gather the evidence needed to help you have a strong case against the responsible party.