Truck Driver Substance Abuse

Overturned 18-wheelerWas your accident caused by an intoxicated or drugged driver?

It is important to understand that CMV drivers and passenger vehicle drivers alike can get behind the wheel after using drugs and/or consuming alcohol. Statistically, drivers of commercial motor vehicles are no more likely to cause drunk or drugged driving collisions than passenger vehicle drivers, in fact, they may be less likely to cause them. However, truck driver substance abuse is still an issue and has the potential to cause serious accidents. If you were involved in a truck accident that was caused by a drunk or drugged commercial vehicle driver, then please get in touch with an accident attorney from our firm for legal assistance.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that truck drivers submit to periodic drug and alcohol testing. Unfortunately, many drivers are not tested or tested regularly. A lack of enforcement could be contributing to many of these types of accidents. Fox News Chicago conducted an investigation of all Illinois trucking companies and found that 120 of these companies had been recently fined for failing to conduct mandatory drug and alcohol testing. 120 companies is a high number overall, but these were statistics for the state of Illinois alone. There may be many other trucking companies failing to enforce drug and alcohol restrictions.

.04% BAC Limit for Truckers

To help combat truck driver alcohol abuse and serious drunk driving accidents, the FMCSA implemented lower blood alcohol content limits for CMV drivers. The national BAC at which a regular passenger vehicle driver can be considered legally intoxicated is .08 percent, but the limit for truckers is .04 percent. Even alcohol content levels lower than this amount can impair a trucker's driving ability. In the event of a truck accident, the driver should absolutely be tested for drugs and alcohol. Truckers involved in accidents and even those who have simply been issued citations for DUIs are required to notify their employers. Their employers should restrict them from driving, according to FMCSA regulations, but many do not.

Could truckers be using narcotics to stay awake?

Aside from newly-licensed truck drivers, most truckers should have a DAC (Drive-A-Check) report that their former employer submits. This report includes much more than the employee's name and social security number; they include information about drug and alcohol testing as well as accident information. The purpose of these DAC reports is to prevent known drug-abusing truck drivers from being re-employed. Unfortunately, false DAC reporting can be a problem. Why would truck drivers risk their livelihoods and the safety of others on the road? Many drivers may be using narcotics to avoid falling asleep at the wheel. A DUI for drug use is a risk that many truckers are willing to take to avoid fatigue.

Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Representation

After a serious truck accident, you may be unsure where to turn. The legal team at Stern Law Group recommends that you contact our firm as soon as possible after an accident. You may be entitled to legal representation. If you are, it is crucial to collect evidence as close to the time of the accident as possible. To find out if our firm is right for your case, you can call and schedule a free case evaluation. Our firm can analyze the details of your case and explain your legal options to you. If the truck driver who caused your accident was using drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash, our investigators will use all the necessary evidence to hold them liable. As a victim, we want to recover maximum financial compensation on your behalf.

To learn more, please contact a Houston truck accident lawyer from our firm today.