All commercial truck drivers must be screened to determine if they are engaging in drug use. Despite drug screenings being an essential part of maintaining employment as a commercial truck driver, many commercial truck drivers fail to pass these tests. Also, some commercial truck companies may fail to screen their drivers, and this can often lead to intoxicated drivers getting behind the wheel.
Reasons for Drug Use Among Commercial Drivers
Some commercial drivers turn to drug use so they can remain awake when they must drive for long hours. However, substance abuse does not have the desired effect of helping the driver stay awake and focused on the road. Instead, the use of illicit substances masks exhaustion. Also, drivers may find themselves struggling to operate a commercial truck safely when experiencing the side effects of an illicit substance.
Driving while abusing substances is often connected to poor working conditions. The drivers are under a lot of stress and choose to self-medicate. However, not only might the driver be held responsible for the accident, but the company that the driver works for may be held responsible as well.
Some drivers simply choose to abuse drugs out of boredom and for their own enjoyment, but the consumption of most drugs can have a negative effect on the ability of the driver to operate the vehicle safely. For example, the consumption of marijuana can increase the sleepiness of the driver and increase the risk of accidents.
How to Know If the Driver Was Under the Influence
After the accident, you might notice that the driver is behaving strangely, and you might suspect that he is under the influence of a substance. However, unless the driver admits that he was abusing a substance, you won't know unless you obtain evidence to prove this fact.
By contacting the police, you may be able to have the driver charged with a DUI. This charge will make it much easier to prove that the driver's substance abuse contributed to the accident. Your commercial wreck attorney might uncover that the driver has been arrested for substance abuse in the past. This evidence can be used to hold the employer liable for having hired the driver in the first place.
Unfortunately, the trucking culture will likely take a long time to change. However, even if you can't change the trucking culture overnight, you can seek compensation for your injuries with the help of a truck accident lawyer.
To learn more, contact a truck accident lawyer.