Truck Driver Drug Usage
Drug usage in the United States is one of the top reasons for
automobile and truck accidents. Million of Americans use some kind of
drug for medicinal purposes. Abuse of controlled substances and drugs
is often linked with terrible vehicular accidents and collisions on
major streets and highways. Drug abuse is the use of illicit drugs or
the abuse of prescription or over-the-counter drugs for purposes other
than those for which they are indicated or in a manner or in quantities
other than directed. Most common cases of substance abuse involve
alcohol-related accidents (DUI or DWI). In
one NHTSA study, samples were analyzed qualitatively for alcohol and 43
other drugs. Alcohol was the most prevalent drug, and was found in
51.5% of the crashes; other drugs were found in 17.8% of the crashes.
The study found cannabinoids present in 6.7% of the drivers, cocaine in
5.3%, benzodiazepine in 2.9% and amphetamines in 1.9%. All other drugs
combined were found in less than 5.0% of the drivers. Drugs were found
in conjunction with alcohol in 11.4% of the cases.
Non-medical purposes included misusing prescription drugs for
recreation and for psychic effects--to get high, to have fun, to get a
lift, or to calm down, and for relaxing effects. Alcohol, Marijuana,
Heroin, Cocaine, Amphetamines are some of the intoxicating controlled
substances responsible for truck accidents. For fatally injured
drivers, cannabis had the highest percentages testing positive, ranging
from 7% to 37% with a mean of 14%. The mean percentages of each of the
other five drugs amounted to about 5% or less.
The rules and regulations that govern the usage policy of drugs are
very strict. These are applicable even for over-the-counter drugs or
medicines. Some drugs or medicines can impair truck driver's judgment,
can make the driver over-react. They also have adverse effect on the
reaction time of the driver. All these can cause an accident.
Consumption of alcohol has the same effects on the driver's ability to
drive. The law strictly prohibits the truck driver from operating a
commercial vehicle in case if the truck driver takes (or need to take)
a drug or a medicine that affects the drivers ability to safely operate
the vehicle. This regulation includes prescription, illegal or even
over-the-counter drugs or medicines.
If you are involved in a trucking accident, contact us for a free
consultation to discuss your case with an expert. We have the necessary
expertise you need to ascertain the exact cause of the accident and
represent your legal interests.