Truck accidents involving drinking or drugs occur when the driver of a commercial truck consumes alcohol or drugs, impairing their ability to safely operate the vehicle.
When a truck driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they may experience reduced reaction times, impaired judgement, blurry vision, and other physical and cognitive impairments that make it difficult to drive safely. This can lead to them making poor decisions on the road, such as driving at excessive speeds, swerving between lanes, failing to yield to other vehicles, or even falling asleep at the wheel.
As a result, these impaired drivers may cause accidents that can be extremely dangerous and even deadly for other drivers on the road. Large commercial trucks are much larger and heavier than most other vehicles on the road, and as such, they can cause significant damage when involved in a collision.
Furthermore, truck drivers are held to a higher standard when it comes to drinking and driving. The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for commercial truck drivers is much lower than that of non-commercial drivers, and they can face severe penalties if caught driving under the influence. In Texas, the FMCSA has established that 0.04% is the highest level of blood alcohol content.
Overall, truck accidents involving drinking or drugs are a serious problem that can result in devastating consequences for everyone involved. It is important for truck drivers to prioritize safety and never operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Accident Statistics for Commercial Trucks involving alcohol or drugs
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019, there were 5,005 large trucks involved in fatal crashes in the United States. Out of these crashes, 3% (157) involved a driver who had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, which is the legal limit for driving under the influence (DUI) in most states.
Additionally, a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that 2.5% of truck drivers involved in fatal crashes between 2010 and 2016 had alcohol in their system at the time of the crash.
While these statistics may seem relatively low, it is important to note that any instance of DUI in commercial trucking is cause for concern. Due to the size and weight of commercial trucks, accidents involving alcohol or drug use can be especially devastating and can result in serious injury or death for all parties involved. As such, it is crucial that truck drivers prioritize safety and never operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Liability issues with a commercial driver under the influence
If a commercial truck driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causes an accident, there can be multiple parties held liable for any damages or injuries that occur.
First and foremost, the driver themselves can be held liable for their actions. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal, and drivers who engage in this behavior can face criminal charges, fines, and license suspension or revocation.
In addition to the driver, the trucking company that employs them may also be held liable. Trucking companies have a legal responsibility to ensure that their drivers are properly trained, licensed, and qualified to operate a commercial vehicle. They also have a responsibility to perform drug and alcohol testing on their drivers in accordance with federal regulations. If a trucking company fails to meet these responsibilities, they may be held liable for any accidents or damages that occur because of their driver’s actions.
Other potentially liable parties in a commercial truck accident involving drugs or alcohol may include the owner of the truck, the manufacturer of the truck or its parts, and any other parties involved in the maintenance or repair of the vehicle.
Ultimately, the specifics of liability in any given commercial truck accident involving drugs or alcohol will depend on the individual circumstances of the case. An experienced personal injury attorney can help determine who may be liable and pursue legal action on behalf of any victims or injured parties.