Intoxication and Commercial Driving Accidents

Driving a commercial vehicle is a big responsibility. Bus drivers must ensure that their passengers get to their intended destination safe and sound. Truck drivers must protect their cargo during long journeys while beating their deadlines. As you can see, these jobs call for a high level of skill and experience.

Due to the size and weight of these vehicles, they are harder to control than regular cars. This makes them more dangerous as well. A head-on collision can result in serious injuries and property damage. Fatalities are also frequent because of the severity of impact. Among the common causes is intoxication.

Drug and Alcohol Intoxication

Drivers work for long hours just to be able to take their vehicle where these are supposed to go. They are always under pressure because of the clock. They can’t have much rest because they have a deadline to beat. Many have to battle fatigue and sleepiness along the way. Some have resorted to questionable means of staying awake such as the use of drugs. These could be illegal drugs, prescription drugs, or over-the-counter medicine. They abuse these substances in an effort to push their bodies but it often backfires. They may be awake but their decision-making, response time, and focus are often compromised.

Others turn to alcohol right before or even during their shift. The ill effects of alcohol intoxication is well-known. Laws frown upon this because of the established link between the ingestion of the substance and the likelihood of getting into an accident. Most drivers know and understand this. Only a few break the rules, but even a small percentage is a big deal when we consider than there are millions of people holding commercial licenses. The actions of these few can still lead to many unfortunate tragedies on the road.  

The fatality rates have been going down for the longest time thanks to stricter laws and tighter implementation. Information campaigns have also helped in spreading awareness. However, there has been an uptick of incidents in this decade. According to some studies, this may have been, in part, influenced by the increase of inexperienced drivers going behind the wheel. Perhaps better training can be imposed to ensure that the new ones are ready for the job. Even the veterans are having their own problems such as high stress and fatigue. These are also preventing them from performing at their best. 

Higher Standards for Drivers

Intoxication and commercial driving accidents go hand-in-hand. It just makes sense to stop this destructive habit before it’s too late. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA has come up with stricter regulations to prevent more accidents from taking place. Training standards were increased to ensure that those passing do have what it takes to do the job. They have also created a database that makes it easier to identify erring drivers with DUI records and bar them from acquiring a commercial license. There is also low tolerance for those caught having elevated BAC levels.

If you were injured because of a careless commercial vehicle, then don’t hesitate to call an attorney for legal advice. Lawyers can help you sue a drunk driver and recover damages.

LINKS:

FAS – https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R44792.pdf

FMCSA – https://bit.ly/29VFwXc

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