Driving Under the Influence of Drugs – 18 Wheeler Drivers
Truck drivers often abuse drugs and alcohol. They are alone most of the time. They spend long hours behind the wheel and on the roads. Whatever the reason, driving under the influence of drugs is becoming more common for 18 wheeler drivers.
According to research done by the Nation Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), truck driver drug use has been a major factor in truck accidents. That research confirms that when a truck driver is on drugs, there is more likely to be a deadly crash.
85% of all truck drivers recently surveyed said that methamphetamines were easily available at truck stops. Methamphetamines help drivers stay awake longer. Letting them log more hours on the road and deliver cargo sooner. Methamphetamine use is popular amongst drivers.
Trucking Companies Must Control Driver Drug Use
The NTSB has passed strict rules and guidelines in response to the high number of drug-related accidents. The NTSB requires employers of truck drivers with more than 50 employees to randomly drug test their drivers. Employers are required to have routine urine samples tested for illegal drugs. At least half of all their truck drivers are supposed to be tested annually.
When employers and trucking companies don’t enforce these rules, drug use continues. Drivers high on drugs cause accidents. Trucking companies must be held accountable for their failure to regulate drivers.
Truck Drivers and Drug Usage
Up to 35% of all truck drivers who die in truck accidents test positive for some illegal drugs. The most common drugs used by truck drivers include:
Driver drug and alcohol use is the second largest factor contributing to truck accidents. In accidents where driver fatigue was blamed as the cause, the driver also tested positive for drugs.
Drug abuse is a major cause of truck accidents, which take the lives of as many as 5,000 people every year. There is a need for employers to enforce drug policies. The FMCSA offers free resources for employers. These resources assist employers with implementing drug policies and drug testing. Trucking companies must take the steps necessary to keep the public safe.
Contact a Houston Attorney Handling Accidents Caused by Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
People may have the opinion that driving while high or drugged is less of a risk to the safety of all people on the road than drunk driving is. However, this is entirely untrue. Drugs impact a driver’s ability to react and make judgment calls for a longer period than alcohol. Either way, truck drivers should not operate 18 wheelers under the influence of drugs. If they do, they should be held accountable.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an 18 wheeler accident where the driver was taking drugs, contact Chelsie King Garza for a free consultation.