Did you know that drug use is involved in 26% of all truck crashes? Would you be shocked to know that most of this drug use is legal?
More than half of all Americans who drive use prescription or over-the-counter drugs on a daily basis. Truck drivers are no exception. Unfortunately, many drugs taken for common medical conditions have side-effects that can impair a truck driver's ability to safely operate a vehicle.
Medications for any of the following conditions may have side-effects that impair driving ability:
- Coughs and colds
- Heart conditions
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Muscle spasms
- Parkinson's disease
- Weight loss
The side-effects of these medications include:
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Inability to focus
- Nervousness or "jitters"
- Slowed reaction time
In addition, many Americans take multiple prescriptions. When drugs are mixed, there can be unpredictable side-effects.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is aware that certain medical conditions can pose a danger to the driving public. U.S. truck drivers are required to pass a physical exam performed by a licensed medical examiner before they are issued a medical card. Drivers who suffer from diabetes, epilepsy, vision and hearing problems, breathing, heart and mental conditions, alcohol and substance abuse, and any conditions that cause restrictions in movement cannot be issued a medical card. The medical card must be renewed every two years, in order for the driver to remain behind the wheel.
It is a trucking company's job to ensure that each driver has a valid medical card and is able to drive safely. It is also the trucking company's job to screen drivers for drugs that can cause impaired driving ability.
If you or a loved one was injured in a Georgia large truck accident caused by a medicated truck driver, you may be entitled to compensation. However, getting insurance compensation after a commercial truck accident can be difficult. Many large truck companies hire teams of lawyers to protect their interests. An Atlanta truck accident attorney can help. Your attorney will be able to gather evidence showing both the driver and the trucking company may be to blame. For more information or to discuss your claim, contact Shane Smith Law at 770-HURT-999 and ask to speak to an Atlanta truck accident attorney.