Truck Drivers and Drug Use
Illegal drug use is one of the leading causes of truck accidents. Drug abuse is often rooted in truckers’ extended hours on the road. When you factor in the high level of isolation, the temptation to numb the boredom and loneliness can be very powerful. The National Transportation Safety Board has spent over twenty-five years investigating drug issues in the trucking industry. They have made it a priority to remedy this very serious issue, but very little progress has been made. Accidents involving tractor-trailers, 18 wheelers, big rigs, semi-trucks, and commercial delivery vehicles can be especially devastating. The size and weight of these vehicles factor heavily into the potential for serious injuries and fatalities.
Amphetamines and Cocaine
The most common drugs of choice in the trucking industry are cocaine and amphetamines. Both act as stimulants, creating temporary euphoria and energy, but both can also seriously impair a truck drivers ability to drive safely.
- Cocaine causes contraction of the blood vessels, leading to the possibility of high blood pressure and an increased heart rate. These physical reactions lead to symptoms including anxiety and agitation. Users may experience states of “full-blown paranoid psychosis.” This condition can lead to auditory and visual hallucinations.
- Amphetamines are similar to cocaine, as they both stimulate the central nervous system. Derivatives of amphetamines are prescribed for narcolepsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depression. All forms are highly addictive. Dizziness, tremors, blurred vision, confusion, aggression, lack of coordination, delusions, and hallucinations are all extremely dangerous side effects, particularly for someone behind the wheel.
Developed in the early 1900’s, methamphetamines have many of the same effects as amphetamines but with a higher level of potency. Also known as crystal-meth, users either smoke, snort, inject, or consume them orally. Even more so than cocaine and amphetamines, meth is extremely addictive. 85 percent of truck drivers interviewed in a recent study claimed that this type of drug was highly accessible at truck stops across the country. Truckers driving under the influence of methamphetamines are creating extraordinarily dangerous situations for everyone on the road.
Trucking companies are lawfully required to perform a drug test as a condition of employment. Once employed, on-duty drivers are subject to mandatory random drug testing as well. The Department of Transportation became aware of tricks like synthetic urine to generate a false negative. To battle this, the department mandates documentation of results from previous employment drug testing. A company that has not adhered to drug testing regulations may be liable if an employee causes injury or death as a result of drug abuse.
De Castroverde Law Group – Las Vegas Truck Accident Lawyers
If you have been in a trucking accident and suspect drug use played a role, you should contact an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney immediately.Truck accident liability can be especially complicated because of the many players involved – drivers, trucking companies, and parts distributors. In addition to possible drug use, there are several other common causes of truck accidents, such as reckless driving, driver fatigue, improper vehicle maintenance, and improper loading. At De Castroverde Law Group, we have successfully obtained compensation for thousands of clients, including those injured in trucking accidents. We understand the complexities involved, and we will put our knowledge and experience to work for you. Contact our family-run law office today for a free consultation about your case.