Drug Use a Hazard in Georgia Trucking Accidents

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2,597 people were killed in United States traffic accidents in December 2010. Of those, 775 deaths involved alcohol-impaired drivers. A 2006 study by the NHTSA estimated that there is one drunk driving fatality in the United States every 30 minutes.

Georgia's Driving Under the Influence Laws are complex. Forest Park DUI injury attorney Shane Smith can sort through the intermingled laws that potentially create complications in a DUI case.

According to a study by the National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB), 45 percent of big-rig drivers who are stopped for reckless driving test positive for marijuana. It is estimated that up to 12.5 percent of trucking accidents are caused by marijuana use. Estimates are that 25 percent of commercial truck drivers who are stopped for reckless driving have cocaine in their system.

Some truck drivers justify drug use by claiming that drugs make them more effective. Truck drivers frequently abuse methamphetamines to increase their endurance because they are pressured by unrealistic delivery schedules. It is estimated that 20 percent of all truck drivers use methamphetamines as a stimulant to drive farther and for longer periods without resting. However, methamphetamines impact judgment and impair driving ability. Many truckers also believe marijuana is a relaxant and does negatively impact judgment. However, studies have shown that marijuana distorts focus, slows perception and reaction time and its effects can last up to 24 hours.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released a study about the proclivity of truck drivers driving while impaired. Among the study's findings:

  • Approximately 1 percent of truck drivers involved in truck accidents resulting in injuries or death were legally drunk (their blood alcohol concentration was 0.08 percent or above).
  • Approximately 2 percent of truck drivers involved in truck accidents resulting in injuries or death were impaired with illegal drugs.
  • Approximately 36 percent of truck drivers surveyed admitted to using at least one prescription or over-the-counter drugs that could impact their driving ability.

If you have questions about Georgia DUI laws, get the answers in Forest Park DUI injury attorney Shane Smith's book, I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver: What Do I Do Next? Contact Shane Smith Law to schedule a free legal consultation.

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