What You Need To Know About Drug/Alcohol Abuse and Truck Accidents
Drivers with a commercial driver license (CDL) are subject to regular drug and alcohol testing as a safety measure. In fact, motor carriers who employ drivers with a CDL must have a testing program.
A study by the Insurance Institute for Traffic Safety of interstate tractor-trailer drivers found that 15% of all drivers had marijuana, 12% had non-prescription stimulants, 5% had prescription stimulants, 2% had cocaine, and fewer than 1% had alcohol in their systems.
A driver does not necessarily have to be intoxicated to be impaired by alcohol. Even at low BAC levels, alcohol impairs driving performance by reducing the driver’s reaction time and slowing his or her decision making abilities. Recognizing the threat to public safety associated with even moderate drinking and driving by transportation workers, the federal government prohibits commercial truck drivers, railroad and mass transit workers, marine employees, and aircraft pilots from operating their vehicles with a BAC at or greater than 0.04 percent.
While once a rampant problem and a contributing factor in a high percentage of trucking accidents, driver intoxication has been effectively controlled through stringent monitoring and enforcement by the Department of Transportation.
The statistics show that only about 1-3% of truck accidents are caused by alcohol use by the truck driver.
Marijuana can affect concentration, perception and reaction time up to 24 hours after use, says the Federal Director of Drug Policies Michael Botticelli.
In 2010, the National Transportation Safety Board studied 182 fatal truck accidents. It found that 12.5% of the accidents were caused by drivers using marijuana.
A study by The New England Journal of Medicine found that drivers without alcohol in their systems who were stopped by police for reckless driving found that 45% had marijuana and 25% had cocaine in their systems.
Despite federal regulations that limit the hours they can drive in a single day, truck drivers are constantly looking for ways to stay awake longer, drive farther, and make more money.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that people in occupations that demand long hours, mental alertness, and physical endurance (such as truck drivers), have been using methamphetamine at increased rates.
Truck drivers and truck carriers are responsible for the safe operation of commercial vehicles on our highways. While more stringent alcohol and drug guidelines and more effective enforcement have helped to curb drunk driving, the use of methamphetamine and other illegal drugs are becoming more common.
Why You Need An Attorney Who Specializes in Large Truck Accidents
Munley Law has over 50 years of experience in dealing with truck accident claims. Our consultation will be absolutely free. Munley Law has consistently been named to the Best Lawyers in America and have received the highest peer review ratings possible from Martindale Hubble. Additionally, we have received some of the largest settlements and verdicts in the country for our clients. Our expert truck accident lawyers collaborate on our cases, so you will have the benefit of having a full team of expert lawyers representing you.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a trucking accident in Pennsylvania, New York, or New Jersey, call us today at (855) 866-5529 or use our online contact form.