Substance Abuse by Truckers Increases the Risk of an Accident
Truckers’ use of alcohol and/or drugs can lead to serious accidents and injuries
Substance abuse by any driver on the road, regardless of vehicle type, increases the chances that the driver and those around them will be involved in an accident. When drugs or alcohol are abused by truckers, the risk is worse as commercial truck drivers who are impaired obviously can’t give road and traffic conditions their full attention.
The size and weight of the trucks, and the trucks’ need for more time and distance to stop, mean that accident impacts are harder, the potential for crush injuries is greater, and injuries and damage are more likely. And unfortunately, the conditions that many truckers face are conducive to abusing drugs and alcohol.
To be clear, not all truck drivers use drugs or alcohol, let alone drive under their influence. Many in the trucking community are safe drivers who avoid anything that could affect road safety. But the long hours on the road and pressure to deliver cargo on a tight schedule can lead many to either take stimulants to stay awake or use substances like marijuana, which can affect the drivers’ attention to the road. Stimulants could make the driver take more risks, such as speeding; drugs with a sedating effect could make the driver fall asleep at the wheel or have reduced reaction time.
All drivers need to be aware of the possibility that a driver near them is driving under the influence, but that need becomes imperative when a commercial truck is around. Stay alert and leave plenty of room if possible around trucks, and stay out of their blind spots. Remember that these vehicles are very large and very heavy, and they’re very hard to stop in an emergency.
If the worst has happened and you’ve been in an accident with a commercial truck, contact Eisenberg Law Offices at (608) 256-8356. You’ll need legal assistance when dealing with insurance companies and potential court cases or settlements.