We often take our safety on the road for granted. But if you happen to see the aftermath of an accident involving a big commercial trucking vehicle and a passenger car, or know someone who has been in such an accident, the fact that many professional truck drivers have a drug problem, just might have you vowing to never leave the house again.
Sadly, studies have shown that the use of “mind-altering substances” is high among commercial truck drivers. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), synthetic drug use among commercial drivers has significantly increased in recent years.
Truckers work long hours—often well over the 70-hour mark despite legal limitations—and they use drugs and alcohol to combat the loneliness, boredom, and desolate nature of the job. Reports indicate that truckers tend to use amphetamines and cocaine to keep themselves awake for unnaturally long periods of time. However, the side effects of taking these drugs include agitation, hallucinations, hypertension, and dependence—with impaired driving and death likely occurring as well.
In addition to amphetamines, the use of marijuana among truck drivers, especially in states where marijuana is legal, was common.
In one study, almost half of the drivers interviewed admitted to drinking alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
It goes without saying that commercial truck drivers who are tired and high and driving a 50,000 lb vehicle, pose an unacceptable danger to themselves and anyone else on the road.
Despite requirements that drivers undergo drug tests before being given a license and some random testing done by individual companies ,the drug problem among commercial truckers is one that the industry and government regulators are struggling to control.
The problem appears to be worse among young, inexperienced truckers who are given the longer hauls.
Injuries incurred in accidents between passenger cars and commercial vehicles are often catastrophic. Those who have been injured by truck drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol are entitled to hold the trucker (and potentially other parties) accountable.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a trucking accident, call us. We are experienced personal injury and trucking accident attorneys. We have offices in Baton Rouge, and we serve Baker, Gonzales, Port Allen, New Orleans, Zachary, and several other cities in Louisiana. To schedule your free consultation, call ToDay at 225-200-0000 or contact us here.
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