In the United States today, impaired truck drivers are a surprisingly big problem. You’d think that anyone responsible for a massive truck in dense traffic would want to be very sober, but this isn’t always the case.
Truck drivers are known to face many on-the-job pressures. This can lead them to take stimulants to stay focused for long hours on the road or other drugs to relax and feel better in the days they spend far from their families.
No matter why a driver chooses to use drugs or alcohol, one thing is true: Driving under the influence puts other people at risk, and drivers must be accountable for the harm they cause in truck accidents.
Truck Drivers Face Stricter Laws
Texas drunk driving law is more strict for truckers with Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDLs) than it is for non-commercial drivers. While .08 BAC is the legal limit for non-commercial drivers in Texas, the limit for drivers with CDLs is .04. For truckers, driving with a .04 BAC is a misdemeanor punishable by jail time and fines.
Truck Driver DWI: How Big Is the Problem?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving crashes cause about 10,000 deaths each year. Of these, only a small percentage were truck drivers.
However, the damage caused by truck drivers can be far greater than by individual drivers because the trucks involved are so big and heavy. A fully-loaded semi-truck can weigh 80,000 pounds.
Common Drugs Truck Drivers Use
Many types of drugs and medication, both legal and illegal, can impair a truck driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely. These include:
Signs a Truck Driver May Be Impaired
Reckless and irrational driving, including weaving in and out of lanes and failing to maintain a constant speed, can be signs of impaired truck driving. But it’s not always easy to tell just by passing a truck in traffic whether the truck driver is operating the vehicle under the influence.
That’s why it’s critical to have an investigation completed as soon as possible after the accident and to have your lawyer review all the evidence related to the crash. Investigations typically test a driver’s BAC after a truck accident, but the information may not be shared with you unless and until you have an experienced lawyer on your side.
Hold Drivers Accountable for Impaired Driving. Talk With a Lawyer.If an impaired driver has hurt you or someone you care about, get legal help from an experienced attorney. Schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at Ted B. Lyon & Associates in Dallas at 866-503-4864 or contact us online.