The first thing a truck accident attorney will want to see are the results of drug and alcohol testing for a trucker involved in an accident. This testing is nothing new to a trucker, as they are subject to it through their employers at any time. As any experienced truck accident lawyer will no doubt tell you, any motor carrier than has employees with a commercial driver license must have a testing program in place.
An experienced attorney has seen the statistics about alcohol and drug use among commercial truck operators are quite frightening. The Insurance Institute for Traffic Safety reports that in 2008, that four percent of all truck drivers involved in a fatal semi-truck accident had a blood alcohol level higher than .04. However, 15% of all semi-truck truck drivers operating on the road today had marijuana in their systems. In addition, 12 % had nonprescription stimulants and 5% were driving under the influence of prescription medications. An attorney will want to know when the truck driver underwent alcohol and drug testing and what those results were.
A truck driver does not need to be legally intoxicated to be impaired by alcohol and therefore at fault for your injuries. Even at very low BAC levels, a driver's reaction time is slowed. When this occurs, the results can be devastating. Because of this, the Federal Government prohibits commercial truck drivers, as well as many other operators, to have a BAC less than .04%. While there are many factors that affect someone's blood alcohol content, any alcohol consumption by a truck driver before climbing into the cab can impair the driver.
Today, the Department of Transportation, as well as law enforcement around the country, enforces the laws governing alcohol use and semi-truck drivers. However, there are those commercial truck drivers who ignore the laws and put everyone in danger whenever they are behind the wheel. Your truck accident attorney believes that these drivers should be held accountable for their action, but so should the trucking company they work for.
Overall, it is estimated that approximately 1-3% off all truck accidents involves a driver that is under the influence of alcohol. In comparison, 30% of all truck accidents are due to driver fatigue. Your truck accident law firm will use all of the tools and resources available, as well as the evidence from the accident, to see what caused an accident and how it could have been prevented.
Some drivers are under the mistaken impression that driving under the influence of marijuana is safety than driving under the influence of alcohol. The reality is that marijuana can affect a driver's perception, concentration, and reaction time for up to 24 hours after it is smokes. That is several times longer than the affect that alcohol has on the body. Experienced lawyers understand the seriousness of truck drivers that operate under the influence of marijuana.
Many truck drivers smoke marijuana and drive their semi truck down the nation's highways. The lowered reaction times mean that more accidents will happen. It simply takes longer for a truck driver under the influence of marijuana longer to brake, steer, or maneuver once they recognize a danger. However, it will take the driver longer to recognize the danger, as well. Your truck accident attorney will work diligently to determine if marijuana use was a factor in the accident. You have a right to full and fair compensation for your injuries, and if the truck driver acted recklessly, by smoking pot, drinking alcohol, or doing drugs while driving, punitive damages may be awarded by a court.
Truck drivers are always looking for ways to drive farther and longer in a single day. They want to make more money, but so do the trucking companies, too. In a recent interview with 20 truck drivers by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, 17 semi-truck drivers said that it is very easy to get meth at a truck stop. One of the reasons why methamphetamine is so popular among semi-truck drivers is because it keeps you awake. The use of meth by truck drivers is increasing. It is vital to know if methamphetamine was used by the truck driver involved in your accident.
About 15% of truck drivers operate under the influence of stimulants, whether it is methamphetamines, over the counter energy pills, or prescription stimulant medications. It is expected that this number will continue to increase, as trucking companies and drivers will push to go farther, longer, and faster than allowed by law. An experienced truck accident attorney understands how complicated the trucking in this country can be. You need a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer to ensure that someone is held accountable when those laws and regulations are not followed.
Stronger guidelines and laws are needed regarding alcohol and drug use among truck drivers. More effective enforcement is also necessary due to the increasing number of drivers that are driving under the influence of marijuana and other illegal drugs. The Chester Law Group attorneys are experienced in all types of truck accident cases, including those that involved alcohol or drug use by the truck driver. We know that the choices a truck driver makes can have devastating results and as your truck accident attorney, we will work to see that those responsible are held accountable.
In Closing by Ohio Truck Accident Lawyer David M. Chester
The lawyers at Chester Law Group are experienced truck accident attorneys that can help you and your family get the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, property damages, and other expenses. We will also deal with the insurance companies that are trying to settle with you for as little as possible. Don't let your rights as an injured party get tossed aside. Contact the experienced Ohio truck accident law firm of Chester Law Group to represent you and your family. Call 800-218-4243 today!