The driver of a large commercial truck is responsible for the safety of all motorists who are sharing the highway with him. According to statistics by the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, truck drivers are also responsible for causing their own deaths in accidents caused by drugged driving.
In the year 2017, the number of truck drivers dying on the job rose to record levels, according to the data. Statistics from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in fact, correspond very accurately with data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which shows a 9 percent increase in trucking accident-related passenger vehicle fatalities in 2017.
The data also shows that non- medical drug use continues to be a major problem plaguing truck drivers. For the fifth consecutive year, non-medical drug deaths involving truck drivers rose by as much as 25 percent.
Truck drivers are especially susceptible to the abuse of methamphetamines. These drugs are stimulants, and often, truck drivers use these drugs in order to help them avoid sleep and drowsiness. The drugs can help truckers drive for long hours without sleep and put in more number of work hours. However, as the effects of the drug begin to wear off, the driver many begin to feel very drowsy. Dosing off at the wheel may expose the driver to the risk of an accident.
Cocaine is another drug that is often abused by truck drivers. Cocaine use can cause euphoria and temporary highs that can cause a truck driver to feel energetic and upbeat. However, cocaine can also cause an increase in blood pressure, exposing the driver to the risk of a heart attack at the wheel. Using higher dosages of cocaine may cause a driver to experience hallucinations and other symptoms of psychosis.
Trucking companies are required by the law to subject drivers to regular drug tests in order to weed out addiction from their work force. However, many trucking companies are failing in this regard, as clearly evidenced by the high rates of overdose deaths involving truck drivers and non-medical drugs.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, talk to an Indianapolis trucking accident attorney at Montross Miller and determine if you have legal rights to a claim. Your claim may include not just the driver, but also the trucking company, shipper, freight company, maintenance and repair companies and other parties.