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How Substance Abuse Contributes to Truck Accidents


Considering their mode of transportation, commercial truck drivers need to be some of the safest drivers on the road. Commercial motor vehicles can weigh anywhere between 10,000 and 80,000 pounds, and drivers who control them need to know how they work and how best to respond to an emergency. However, truck drivers have incredibly challenging jobs, which have pushed some of them to respond by taking an increasing number of drugs or using alcohol.

Drivers who work on a deadline might work against federal regulations by pushing their work hours past the legal limit. To do this, they might need stimulants and other drugs to keep awake. However, messing with your natural sleep cycles is a good way to encourage drowsy driving or falling asleep behind the wheel, which could have deadly results. Researchers found that 12.5% of U.S. truck drivers tested positive for alcohol abuse in a recent study, and around the world, the average rate of amphetamine use among truckers was at 8% in 2013.

Researchers looked into the substance abuse problem in this industry to get a sense of how frequently truck drivers use legal and illegal substances such as alcohol, marijuana, amphetamines, and cocaine.

The researchers found the overall use of illicit substances was high and linked to poor working conditions:

  • Depressants, such as alcohol and marijuana, increase sleepiness and decrease concentration, which could lead to accidents.
  • Stimulants, such as amphetamines and cocaine, might keep drivers awake longer but can cause vertigo, agitation, hallucinations, and change perceptions and reactions—this can lead to entirely different issues on the road.

Many studies have also linked drug use to other lifestyle factors. Users are more likely to be young, inexperienced, and have longer routes often involving nighttime driving. Likewise, small- and medium-sized companies are more likely to employ drug users, possibly because bigger companies can provide better working conditions.

Who is Liable in a Truck Accident?

Accidents involving commercial trucks can be tricky because many individuals aren’t sure whether the driver or their company can be held liable for damages. The reality is that it depends on the nature of the accident, but in most cases, a truck driver can be held personally responsible if it’s revealed that they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. While companies have a responsibility to train their drivers and ensure vehicles are safe to use, drivers have an individual responsibility to make sure they create safe driving conditions for those around them on the road.

If you or a loved one were harmed by the negligence of a drugged truck driver, don’t hesitate to give our skilled trucking accident lawyers a call. We are dedicated to helping injury victims seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Let us see what we can do for you.

We Fight for Your Rights

It may seem daunting to file a personal injury claim and go up against insurance companies, drivers, and even trucking companies, but when you call the Law Office of James M. Stanley, our attorneys can stand by your side and be a voice for you during this painful and challenging time. Our team does whatever it takes to get the results our clients want through thorough investigations, transparent communication, and passionate advocacy. We can also determine who is responsible for the truck accident that caused your injuries – it could be the driver, trucking company, manufacturer, or even a cargo loader. No accident is too complex for us to look into so we can help you secure compensation.

Call (817) 591-4222, or contact us onlinefor a free consultation if you’ve been injured in a truck accident. At the Law Office of James M. Stanley, our attorneys have years of experience settling truck accident cases successfully for our clients and can help you, too.

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