Syracuse, NY- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a prevalent problem for all motorists and accounts for nearly a third of all traffic fatalities in New York. Off all the automobiles on the roads, tractor-trailers can be the most dangerous especially if these large vehicles are being operated by a person under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Statistically, truck drivers are far less likely to drive under the influence as data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows. A 2007 NHTSA study, the last year for which data is available, showed that less than one percent of truck drivers who were involved in fatal or injurious accident were intoxicated. That’s a very small percentage considering that drunken driving kills a person in the U.S. every 48 minutes, according to the CDC.
While truckers account for a very small percentage of intoxicated drivers, when a truck accident occurs, the consequences can be catastrophic and often deadly when consider the immense size and weight of a commercial truck—many can weigh up to 100,000—compared to a passenger vehicle. It’s easy to see that passenger vehicle occupants are at a disadvantage and will suffer far more serious injuries than 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.
Drunken driving truck accidents are especially troublesome for the injury victims and the surviving family members of those who are killed. Many accidents truck or otherwise are caused by negligence or driver error, but driving under the influence is an especially egregious action. The truck accident attorneys at Syracuse law firm DeFrancisco & Falgiatano understand the pain and anger truck accident victims feel and will do everything in their power to ensure they get justice.
In the late 80s, legislation addressed the seriousness of intoxicated truck drivers through the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act which lowered the legal limit for truck drivers to .04. Truck drivers who are caught driving drunk face stiffer penalties than the average motorist and could lose their commercial driver’s license for one to two years. A second DUI could cause a trucker to lose their CDL for life.
Alcohol isn’t the only concern for motorists, some truck drivers use drugs. Stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamines helps a driver stay awake on their long hauls. Marijuana use is not uncommon. But regardless of the particular intoxicant trucker uses they will incur serious liability and jeopardize their livelihoods if they drive under the influence.
Operating a large truck under the influence of any substance whether it is alcohol, marijuana or stimulants is strictly forbidden by law. Not only is the trucker culpable if they cause injury or a wrongful death, but their trucking company is as well.
If you have been injured in an intoxicated truck accident it is important to contact a Syracuse truck accident attorney immediately. Taking action quickly will give an attorney a head start on building a successful injury claim in behalf of the victims they represent.
The truck accident attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano law firm make their client’s a priority. They are dedicated to making sure truck accident victims get the compensation they need and deserve.