Commercial truckers work long, hard hours to transport items necessary for our survival and well being. Truckers bring food, lumber, fuel, and other important products all across the country so we can heat our homes, eat, build products, and enjoy everyday comforts. Our Miami truck accident lawyers believe that most truck drivers are experienced and hard working individuals, but a select few act negligently and use drugs that significantly impair their driving. The nature of the trucking industry, with its long hours that are often at night, can often propel truckers to begin using drugs. Drugs have become a significant problem in the trucking industry in recent years.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has conducted extensive research on drug use within the trucking industry and concluded that it causes a number of truck accidents annually. In one study that examined fatal truck accidents in eight states during a one year period, drugs were detected in 67 percent of all truck drivers and a third of these truckers had psychoactive drugs combined with alcohol in their blood stream. Cannabis or marijuana is one of the most prevalent drugs in the trucking industry, along with alcohol and cocaine. Truck drivers are also known to use “uppers”, like methamphetamine, in order to prevent fatigue during their long hours on our nation’s roadways.
In a worldwide study published in the journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, truck drivers self-reported their drug use and engaged in some testing. Drug use was high based on both methods and drugs were noted to lead to a lack of concentration, sleepiness, and potential accidents. In the United States, alcohol use was most prevalent among truck drivers.
Preventing Drug Use Among Truckers
Several federal laws have been passed to prevent drug use among truckers. These laws require that trucking companies randomly test employees for the use of drugs and alcohol. At least half of all employees must be tested each year. Unfortunately, while these tests appeared to have a positive impact early on, new technology developed in recent years has made it easier for truck drivers to falsify their results. Drug and alcohol use has increased at least in part due to these technologies. The NTSB is now advocating that employers use hair tests to assess drug use, as these tests cannot be falsified and detect the presence of drugs within the body for longer periods of time.
Drug and alcohol use causes thousands of truck accidents annually. Anyone injured in a truck accident should consult with an attorney early on who will investigate the potential role of drugs or alcohol use in the accident. Evidence of swerving, failure to react in time, or other erratic behaviors could all indicate drug or alcohol use. Your attorney will ensure proper tests are conducted to establish the role of drugs or alcohol in your accident. Truck drivers who violate federal laws and operate trucks while under the influence can be subject to criminal and civil penalties.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Top Rated Truck Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, contact the Miami Truck Accident Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano We have of 130 collective years of experience representing truck accident victims in South Florida. We will review your case and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Our firm has received a coveted AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and the Miami Herald recognized us as a top firm in South Florida. Allow our exceptional attorneys to provide you with superior legal services in the South Florida area. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.