Most trucking companies check truck drivers for drug and alcohol use before they are hired. Drivers also face drug and alcohol tests after crashes. By law, they must be randomly tested. Still, too many truck drivers engage in alcohol and drug abuse.
In a survey of interstate tractor-trailer drivers by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 15 percent of all drivers tested positive for marijuana, 12 percent for non-prescription stimulants, and 5 percent for prescription stimulants. Two percent had cocaine in their bodies. Less than 1 percent had alcohol in their systems.
It should go without saying: Impaired driving is dangerous. It’s even more dangerous when a person drives a truck weighing more than 10,000 pounds while drinking or drugging. Yet it happens. Every day, innocent people are seriously injured or killed in accidents caused by marijuana, cocaine and alcohol use in the trucking industry.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a tractor-trailer that was caused by impaired driving, you may have a right to recover money for your medical expenses and other losses. The Pennsylvania truck accident lawyers of Munley Law can help. We represent tractor-trailer accident victims nationwide. For a free consultation, contact us today.
Impaired Driving in the Trucking Industry
The trucking industry has a history of problems with alcohol and drug use. Congress saw the need to ensure drug- and alcohol-free employees in the nation’s various transportation industries and passed a law to control it in 1991. Today, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration administers alcohol and drug testing for those who operate commercial motor vehicles that require a commercial drivers license.
The FMCSA tests for:
- Marijuana (THC metabolite)
- Amphetamines (including methamphetamine, or “meth”)
- Opiates (including heroin)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
Because alcohol is legal, the FMCSA cannot ban its use among commercial drivers. But the agency does ban driving a truck while using alcohol, within four hours after using alcohol, or while registering a breath alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or greater in an alcohol breath test.
Illegal use of drugs by safety-sensitive drivers is prohibited on or off duty, the FMCSA says. Additional rules ban the use of legally prescribed controlled substances (such as barbiturates, amphetamines and morphine) by safety-sensitive drivers involved in interstate commerce.
FMCSA regulations specifically state that truck drivers’ employers are as responsible as the truck drivers themselves for obeying alcohol and drug policies. The rules make it clear that companies and drivers share the duty of safely operating commercial vehicles on our highways. If alcohol or drugs are found in the blood of a truck driver involved in a wreck causing injury or death, the driver and his employer may both be held liable for damages caused by the wreck.
Our Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help You
The truck accident lawyers of Munley Law believe that when individuals are injured or killed in tractor trailer accidents caused by alcohol or drug use, the responsible party or parties should be held accountable. This may include the truck driver and the company that employs the driver. It may include any other driver, person or entity who in any way contributed to the accident.
Our lawyers help clients negotiate settlements to claims in trucking accidents. We also pursue personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in court to recover money for our clients’ losses. These cases can be complex. But we have the experience, knowledge and dedication needed to help people collect the maximum amount of funds available in these cases.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving an impaired driver of a large truck, you may have a right to recover money. Munley Law assists tractor trailer accident victims throughout the Northeast, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Contact us now for a free consultation.