Driving a commercial truck can be a very lonely, monotonous, and tedious job. Commercial drivers spend long hours or days driving the same highways and routes over and over again. Drivers can easily become tired or bored and, unfortunately, statistics show that many truck drivers end up turning to substance abuse. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the commercial trucking industry and has strict rules against drug use while driving a commercial truck. The regulations cover both illegal drugs and any legal drugs that may adversely affect a truck driver’s mental state or ability to drive. Furthermore, the FMCSA requires that trucking companies perform a minimum number of random drug tests on its drivers. Despite these strict regulations and required random drug tests, the FMCSA reports that drug use continues to be a serious problem among commercial truck drivers. If you have been injured in a truck accident by someone who was driving under the influence of drugs, a Coweta County truck accident lawyer can help you hold that driver accountable for his or her actions.
Studies show that truck drivers abuse drugs for various reasons. First, many drivers are bored or depressed and are looking for ways to pass the time or make the long drives more enjoyable. For this particular reason, marijuana is an especially popular drug for commercial truck drivers. Additionally, some truck drivers may be looking for ways to stay alert longer behind the wheel. In order to stay awake for long drives, many drivers use stimulants or “uppers,” such as pills or cocaine. These are particularly dangerous because, while the drugs may give the truck driver a feeling of alertness, these drugs do not actually improve focus, concentration, or reaction times. Therefore, a driver may have a false sense of alertness while under the influence.
According to the FMCSA, drugs are relatively easy for driver s to find and buy at truck stops or other depots, and numerous drivers are under the influence of some type of drug while on the highways. If a truck driver using drugs causes an accident, a Coweta County truck accident lawyer can help make him pay for any resulting injuries or damages. Call the Law Offices of Shane Smith at (770) 487-8999 today for help if you have been injured.