In the best of circumstances, semi-trucks are giant, dangerous machines. Hazardous road conditions or sheer dumb luck can send a truck skidding across the road, and their massive size combined with dangerous hauls means that an accident is more likely to involve serious injury or death. Texas, in particular, sees more fatal large truck accidents than any other state in the country.
When truck drivers act recklessly, they become a true hazard to everyone else on the road. That is why truckers face stricter federal, state, and industry laws and standards than other drivers. When you add drugs or alcohol to the mix, semi-trucks become a dangerous menace.
Driving a big rig while under the influence of drugs or alcohol puts everyone on the road at serious risk of severe injury or worse, and truckers should be held accountable for any damages or injury they cause due to their intoxication. If an impaired driver causes an accident that has injured you or someone you care about in Houston, contact the dedicated and passionate truck accident lawyer Charles J. Argento at (713) 225-5050 for help getting the compensation you are owed.
Substance Abuse in The Trucking Industry
Truck drivers lead solitary lives and work long grueling hours, often late into the night and beyond. Truckers are typically required to cover 125,000 miles every year, meaning 2,500 miles a week or 500 miles a day behind the wheel. Boredom, fatigue, and loneliness often lead to the use of substances to keep going. Government officials and other safety advocates have been working to curb substance use among long-haul truckers in recent years, but the problem remains.
A recent study found that the “overall use of the mind-altering substance was high,” due in large part to the poor working conditions and long hours suffered by truck drivers. Truckers often resort to amphetamines, cocaine, and other uppers to stay alert during long drives, but these drugs can lead to vertigo, agitation, hallucination, as well as altering perception and reaction times.
Trucking regulations exist to force truckers to take more rest breaks to alleviate the perceived need for these sorts of drugs, but unfortunately, the demands of the job often win out over proper sensibilities.
Drug Use is a Major Cause of Fatal Truck Accidents
According to the latest report the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA), drug use contributes to at least 5.5% of fatal truck crashes every year. The actual number is likely significantly higher, given that nearly 60% of the time, no drug tests are conducted following a fatal large truck crash.
The rate of positive drug tests among truck drivers after fatal crashes is lower than the corresponding rate for other drivers after fatal crashes (around 15%), although more passenger car crashes lead to drug testing.
If Truck Driver Drug Use Contributed to Your Accident, You Need to Act Fast
FMCSA regulations are supposed to require drug testing following any serious truck accident, but the data tends to indicate that this does not always happen. Even if testing will eventually occur, without a strong legal advocate in your corner, the testing may be delayed and valuable evidence could be lost. If an impaired truck driver injured you or your family, you need a test done promptly to ensure that you have the proof you need to prove fault and collect the compensation you are owed following a truck crash.
Contact Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Charles J. Argento
If you’ve been involved in a drug-related truck accident on Houston roads, contact the Houston truck & car accident lawyer Charles J. Argento immediately at (713) 225-5050 to preserve the evidence and protect your legal rights. Your consultation is free, and bilingual staff is available for Spanish-language casework when necessary.
Charles J. Argento is a skilled negotiator and respected Houston accident lawyer, offering sound legal advice and the aggressive defense of his client’s legal rights in both the Texas State and Federal courts. We represent clients in Houston as well as the surrounding areas throughout Texas, including the cities of Beaumont, Brownsville, McAllen, Harlingen, the Rio Grande Valley, Orange County, and Brazoria.