The dangers of combining alcohol or drugs and driving are obvious and well documented. Still, we see thousands of fatal car and truck accidents each year as a result of drunk or drugged driving. Every state has laws to curb drunk driving and this applies to commercial truck and tractor trailer drivers as well. In fact, commercial truck drivers are subject to much stricter regulation than the average driver.
Every driver is required to submit to numerous drug and alcohol tests in order to remain employed. There are pre-employment drug screens as well as random tests administered throughout the driver’s tenure. If a driver is involved in an accident, he will also have to submit to drug and alcohol screens to determine if these substances contributed to the accident. Failure to comply with these mandatory tests will result in serious consequences for the driver.
Because of these regulations, drunk and drugged driving has been reduced in the trucking industry. While not as rampant as it once was, the problem has not been completely eliminated. Various studies have found that 15% of drivers had illegal drugs in their systems after a crash. Some others were found to have been abusing prescription stimulants to fight fatigue. Even with all the tests for alcohol, 1% of fatal tractor trailer accidents were the result of drunk driving. That still adds up to hundreds of lives lost every year due to terribly negligent behavior on the part of a driver.
Trucking companies can fall short in their duties to police their drivers as well. Tractor trailer accident lawyers can sometimes find cases where tests are not properly administered by trucking companies and unsafe drivers are allowed back on the road. In these cases, the company as well as the driver should be held responsible for the damage caused by an accident.
An experienced Missouri truck accident lawyer will be able to examine an accident and determine if drugs or alcohol played a role. He will also be able to dig into company testing records to determine if the driver had a history of problems that should have kept the driver off the road in the first place.