People who take to the Virginia roads might be alarmed at the number of trucks they see. These large, fast-moving vehicles are undoubtedly intimidating. When there is a collision between a passenger vehicle and a truck, the sheer size makes it an unfair fight. This can cause catastrophic injuries and death.
Financially, physically, personally and emotionally, a truck accident has extensive consequences. Often, they happen because of a trucker’s actions. That can include driving at excessive speeds, going beyond the legal limits for how long they are supposed to drive at one sitting and driving while drowsy, distracted driving, recklessness, and substance abuse. One sometimes overlaps with the other.
People who have been in a truck accident should think about the potential cause. It was recently reported that a troubling number of truckers tested positive for drugs in 2022. That should give pause to people who see these vehicles and may be a prominent factor in an accident and how it came about. It is imperative that a full investigation be conducted so victims can effectively weigh their options.
Drug use is a growing concern
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drug use is on the rise among truckers. Its Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse assessed the statistics and came to these conclusions.
It said that in 2022, almost 41,000 truckers had a positive test for marijuana. This was nearly one-third higher than in 2021. Part of the problem is believed to be the growing legality of marijuana across the nation. It is critical to remember that just because marijuana is legal in many areas, it does not mean drivers can use it and get behind the wheel safely.
The Clearinghouse started in early 2020 and in that time, the FMCSA stated that the number of truckers who tested positive for marijuana surpassed 100,000. Drivers are removed from the road after a positive test and must go through a specific process to be allowed to drive again.
Other drugs were found during the testing process including cocaine, amphetamine and methamphetamine – all play a role in keeping drivers awake to continue driving. These four drugs comprised 90% if the positive tests since the start of the Clearinghouse.
Intoxicating substances can change the way drivers operate their vehicles. With trucks, this places people in jeopardy of an accident. Much like alcohol, drivers’ judgment is hindered by drug use. With stimulants, drivers may tend to go beyond their limits and think they can perform tasks they cannot. This might lead to crashes with injuries and death. Other drivers must be fully aware of this problem.
Truck accidents require specific guidance and help
It is critically important after a truck accident that people who have been victimized with injuries and families who have lost a loved one know how to move forward to hold truckers and their employers accountable. This is especially true if the driver had been using drugs. For these cases, evidence is a vital part of a successful case and having help in gathering it for a claim is key.
People will wonder what they can do after a truck accident. Contacting helpful, compassionate professionals who are immersed in the Virginia community, have ties there and want to do whatever possible to ensure a good outcome can make a major difference.
Truck accidents often impact people who are just trying to get to work, school or go about their business. That affects everyone regardless of financial standing. After a crash, people need to think about recovery and how they can move forward. Having comprehensive assistance is a first step toward achieving that and being sufficiently compensated for all that was lost and what will be needed in the future.