Springfield, MO- Driving while intoxicated is a major issue in the U.S. and accounts for almost one-quarter of all fatal traffic accidents. While not a common problem, some large commercial truck accidents are caused by truck drivers who have been drinking.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2007 showed that less than one percent of truck drivers were involved in fatal or injurious accident. This is because they face more severe penalties than your average motorist; it can cause them their livelihood and result in a possible jail sentence.
Even though the DUI truck accidents are far less common than those caused by motorists, it can be a major issue and can lead to a fatal accident. Consider that a passenger vehicle weighs on average 3,000 lbs. compared to a large commercial truck that can weigh between 80,000 lbs. and 100,000 lbs. It is easy to conclude that a truck accident can result in more severe injuries for a motorist than the truck driver. In fact, the NHTSA estimates that 98 percent of truck accidents that involve a fatality results in at the death of passenger vehicle occupants.
In 1986, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act addressed the issue of intoxicated truck drivers. The law establishes that a truck driver is considered to be under the influence of alcohol if they record a .04 on a breathalyzer or blood test, which is twice the legal limit of .08 for other motorists.
But alcohol isn’t the only concern for motorists some truckers use stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamines. Regardless of the type of intoxicant, a trucker who drives under the influence faces serious penalties along with the liability they incur if they injure someone.
A truck driver who is intoxicated at the time of an accident faces a potential jail sentence, and to make matters worse, they can lose their commercial driver’s license and be barred from driving for at least a year. A second offense could bar a driver for their lifetime.
Operating a large truck under the influence of any substance whether it is alcohol, marijuana or stimulants is strictly forbidden by law and not only is the truck liable if there are any resulting injuries, but the trucking accident they work for and the truck owner can be held accountable for the accident.
If you have been injured in a truck accident it is important to contact a truck accident attorney immediately so they can launch an adequate investigation of your accident. Authorities will work quickly to clean up accident debris and trucking companies and other liable parties will take swift action to reduce their liability. You also have to take swift action too to protect your interests.
A truck accident attorney will do everything necessary to assure you are fairly compensated by an intoxicated truck driver and any other responsible parties. They will thoroughly investigate your accident, and look into the driver’s record to give them the leverage needed to secure a generous settlement.