Commercial truck drivers have a responsibility to ensure they are capable of operating their multi-ton vehicles. When this obligation to the public is neglected due to substance abuse, other people can suffer catastrophic injuries. Recent cases of drunk or drugged commercial drivers causing truck accidents can serve as examples.
In Utah, a commercial trucker failed a drug test for methamphetamine and caused an accident one day later. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sent an effective shutdown order as a result. Motorists involved in the crash suffered serious injuries.
Another case in Tennessee earlier this year involved the FMCSA issuing a shutdown order to a trucker for similar reasons, only in this case the substance abused was alcohol. The trucker was involved in an accident where he crossed over the median of the interstate and tipped over.
Statistics gathered by FMCSA show almost 1 percent of drivers test positive for alcohol or drugs. However, there are millions of commercial drivers and would-be drivers that undergo testing across the country on a semi-regular basis. This means almost 1 percent of drivers who test positive represent thousands of people.
Will Testing Catch All Drugged Commercial Drivers?
There are drugs that drivers are not tested for, such as over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Some OTC medications are abused. In addition, there are a growing number of substances that mimic the effects of scheduled drugs. Whether or not drug testing will catch drivers abusing these substances is uncertain.
People injured by impaired commercial drivers should consult with an attorney to explore legal options. It may be possible to hold the responsible drivers and their employers accountable and to secure funds for medical bills and other expenses.
The Wyoming and Colorado truck accident attorneys at Metier Law Firm can help individual and families who have been harmed by negligent commercial carriers and drivers.