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Drug Use in the Trucking Industry Poses Serious Risks

We’ve all opened up the newspaper and seen terrible stories of driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. What you might not know is that this reckless behavior is a problem in the trucking industry—and that there are laws meant to combat this practice.

Nearly fifty percent, or one half, of truck accidents caused by driver error involve truckers who were taking prescription or over-the-counter medication. While medication is necessary in many cases, it can also produce side effects such as drowsiness, loss of motor function and other effects that can have a negative impact on a trucker’s ability to drive. As a result, if a trucker is taking medication that impairs his or her ability to operate a vehicle in any way, the risks and results can be incredibly dangerous.

The federal government requires the trucking industry to test their drivers for drug and alcohol abuse, both when the truckers begin working for a company and subsequently at periodic intervals. Unfortunately, there are many ways in which truckers can get around these regulations, such as with the use of synthetic urine.

Truckers are in general prohibited from using any controlled substances, unless the drug is prescribed by a doctor who (a) knows the trucker’s medical history, (b) is aware of the trucker’s job description, and (c) is confident that the prescribed medication will not interfere with the trucker’s abilities to drive a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle.

These regulations are vital to ensuring public safety on the roadways. It is understandable if a truck driver needs to take prescription medication for medical reasons—but it is inexcusable that he or she would do so in a way that endangers other drivers. Alcohol and other substance abuse is one of the most common forms of truck driver error, so it is incredibly important that our public safety regulations address this issue in order to prevent as many deaths and injuries on our roadways as possible.

Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer – Injured in an Accident?

As an experienced Virginia truck accident attorney, I know how scary and also how injurious truck accidents can be. The mix of fast speeds, big vehicles and sometimes reckless truck drivers can be a terrible combination, and the injuries sustained can be life-changing. If you’ve been injured because of the negligence or recklessness of the driver of a tractor-trailer or big truck, you deserve compensation; it is the responsibility of the truck driver or the trucking company responsible for the accident to offer you redress for lost wages or medical bills. You should consider speaking to a personal injury attorney, who can help you start taking steps to recover these damages.