Driving a large semi truck can be tedious and lonely. Not only do truck drivers spending hours or days in a small cab by themselves with little communication with other people, but they must try to remain focused on repetitive routes and hundreds of miles of highway driving. Stress and isolation often cause truck drivers to begin using and/or abusing drugs, alcohol, or both. Drivers who get behind the wheel of vehicles that often weigh 80,000 pounds while under the influence of drugs or alcohol put every driver on the road around them at serious risk of injury and death. If you are injured in a trucking accident with a driver who was under the influence, call a Sharpsburg truck accident attorney to help hold that driver liable for your injuries.
The National Transportation Safety Board has conducted in depth studies of drinking and drug use amongst truck drivers over the past 25 years. The study demonstrated that methamphetamine use was particularly popular with truck drivers because it kept them awake for a much longer period of time, allowing them to receive bonuses for arriving at destinations early, or get paid for more jobs in a shorter period of time. In fact, a shockingly large majority (85%) of truck drivers admitted that methamphetamines or similar drugs were readily available to buy at truck stops or other driver hangouts. Other popular drugs include alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, and other stimulants.
The NTSB estimates that drug or alcohol use is the second most common contributing factor to trucking accidents, and cause up to 5,000 deaths each year. In order to try to avoid such accidents, the NTSB has passed very strict guidelines and rules for trucking companies and drivers, including mandatory random drug testing for larger companies. However, many companies do not comply with these rules, and government monitoring is minimal, and therefore the rules have done little to curb the dangers of drinking and drug use among truck drivers.
If you are involved in a trucking accident and suffer injuries because a truck driver was drinking or using drugs, it is important to contact an experienced Sharpsburg truck accident attorney as soon as possible to get reimbursed for your injuries. Call the Law Offices of Shane Smith at (770) 487-8999 for a free consultation today.