Trucking and Intoxication Accidents

Texas Drunk Driving Accident Injury Attorneys

In 1993, the National Transportation Safety Board, in collaboration with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, performed comprehensive drug screens on blood specimens from 168 truck and bus drivers from 8 states who were fatally injured while operating an 18-wheeler, commercial truck/trailer, or commercial bus.  One or more drugs were found in a staggering 67% of the drivers tested, with 33% testing positive for alcohol or psychoactive drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, and ephedrine.

In a recent roadside inspection project conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), 1% of all truck drivers stopped at the roadside inspections were illegally under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This equates to 100,000 truck drivers nationally who are abusing alcohol and drugs while driving large commercial vehicles.  Unfortunately, many within the industry think the number may be double — 200,000 — due to the fact that roadside inspections are announced months in advance and the exact locations for the inspections are disclosed to the trucking industry.

Unfortunately, many instances of substance abuse go undetected within the trucking industry due to industry-wide cheating on drug tests.  Magazine publications for truckers advertise products that allow drivers to hide their substance abuse problems by skewing the results of drug tests.

Between April 30, 2012 and May 11, 2012, the drug and alcohol strike force of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) performed a 2-week sweep, searching for commercial truck and bus drivers who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  As a result of their efforts, 287 truck and bus drivers were removed from the road and banned from operating commercial vehicles and 128 companies face enforcement actions due to drug and alcohol violations.  Unfortunately, this sweep only took place in Washington D.C. over a 12-day period.  Imagine what the numbers would be if this sweep would have occurred on a national level.

Drug and Alcohol use by Truckers is a real problem and a cause of many accidents.  Companies and the Government agencies should increase enforcement of the current laws regarding drug and alcohol use by truckers.  If you have been injured or lost a loved by one a trucker under the influence of drugs or alcohol, call the Houston or San Antontio office of Texas Drunk Driving Accident Injury Lawyers at Hill Law Firm today.