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Alcohol and Drug Use in Truck Accidents

Truck Accidents Involving Alcohol and Drugs

Despite measures in place to help reduce alcohol and drug-related accidents, it is still a problem causing many fatal truck and passenger vehicle collisions.

In California, a driver of a passenger vehicle is considered to be alcohol-impaired when his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 or higher. Drivers of commercial vehicles are considered to be impaired when their (BAC) is found to be 04 or higher.

Statistics report alcohol is much less of a problem amongst truck drivers than passenger vehicle drivers. The role of alcohol was studied in collisions involving drivers of large trucks and pick-up trucks. Some of the findings found were the following:

Large Truck :

• Drivers of large trucks survived.
• Were not at fault.
• Had not been drinking.

Pick-up Truck:

• Drivers were fatally injured.
• Were responsible for their crashes.
• Had a high blood alcohol level.

Passenger Vehicle:

• Drivers were fatally injured.
• Initiated their crash.
• Had high blood Alcohol level.

Another study in 1995 found that drugs such as marijuana or amphetamines were more prevalent among truck drivers than alcohol. Federal Highway Administration. 1995. Random roadside drug and alcohol pilot program. Final report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Transportation. Truck drivers often use stimulants to get through a long haul and in doing so put the lives of other’s at risk.

Federal regulations require carriers to test drivers for drug use before employment and on a random basis. A 1999 study found drivers of large trucks tested positive for drugs after a non-fatal crash.

In 2012, the Department of Transportation reported 10,322 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in the U.S.

Drugs other than alcohol (marijuana and amphetamines) were found in about 18% of motor vehicle driver deaths.

Both alcohol-impaired driving and drug-impaired driving are a dangerous mix, as it leads to loss of judgment, sleepiness, decreased concentration, and reduced psychomotor performance such as slow eye movements, slow reaction time, reduced response to emergencies that all could lead to fatal accidents.

The attorneys at the Edward A Smith Law Offices have over 30 years of experience in handling truck accident cases. Edward A Smith is frequently handling cases where the negligent driver was under the influence of alcohol or drug use. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, contact our attorneys for a free consultation at (916) 921-6400 or 1-800-404-5400 elsewhere. Client reviews can be found on Yelp.

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