At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad, our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating consequences that can result from accidents caused by truck drivers who hit the road when they’re under the influence. Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) regulations impose strict rules and safety requirements on both drivers and trucking companies. If laws regarding driving under the influence are broken, multiple parties may be liable for victims’ injuries, losses or death.
Drug & Alcohol Testing
In 1991, the United States Congress passed the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act, which requires U.S. Department of Transportation agencies to implement drug and alcohol testing of certain safety-sensitive transportation operators, including commercial motor carriers, aviation professionals, railroad personnel and others. Employers are required to perform periodic drug and alcohol testing and provide truck drivers with educational materials and company policies that explain the requirements of DOT’s drug and alcohol testing regulations and the procedures required to help them comply.
Drug & Alcohol Education
The FMCSA believes that educating drivers and training supervisors is essential to combat the rampant use of drugs and alcohol in the trucking industry. Under FMCSA regulations, trucking companies are not only required to conduct drug and alcohol testing; they also have a legal responsibility to educate truck drivers about the dangers and effects of drugs and alcohol and the risks of driving under the influence. Trucking companies must provide employees with a written policy on drug and alcohol use in the workplace. The FMCSA mandates that each employee certify receipt of the written policy and associated materials. This signed document must be kept on file by the employer.
Driving Under The Influence Is A Problem In The Trucking Industry
Even with these regulations in place, drug and alcohol abuse run rampant in the trucking industry. Many drivers use stimulants such as amphetamines and cocaine to stay awake when faced with tight delivery deadlines. These drugs can cause vertigo, agitation and hallucinations and can affect a driver’s perceptions and reactions. Marijuana and alcohol can also impede a driver’s ability to drive safely. Commercial truck drivers are not allowed to drive if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.04 percent or greater. FMCSA regulations prohibit the use of alcohol up to four hours before engaging in safety-sensitive truck functions like driving.
Multiple Parties May Be Held Accountable
If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in an accident with a truck driver who was impaired, the driver, trucking company and even an establishment that served alcohol to a truck driver may be liable for your medical bills, loss of wages, pain and suffering and other damages. That’s why it’s vital to seek the counsel of experienced truck accident attorneys who understand FMCSA regulations and the complexities surrounding personal injury or wrongful death claims in these types of cases.
Contact An Attorney If You’ve Been Injured In An Accident With A Truck Driver
Our truck accident attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad can help you find justice and recover maximum compensation for your damages. Call 610-867-2900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.