A truck’s size and weight can increase the effects of an accident, so a truck driver who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol poses a serious potential threat. The problem of drugged driving is becoming more widespread, but so is awareness of the problem. It’s important you understand the seriousness of this issue, but seeing signs of a drugged driver and taking action to avoid them can help you and your family stay safer on the road.
Drugged Truck Accidents Aren’t Uncommon
Although drunk driving takes up much space in the conversation surrounding impaired driving, trends are showing that drugged driving is on the rise. Unlike suspected drunk driving and breath testing, law enforcement has no way to detect or measure drug use in a truck driver. The following are a few startling statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) National Roadside Survey about this growing issue:
- Drugs were present in seven times more weekend and nighttime drivers than was alcohol.
- Of those surveyed, 16% tested positive for drug use—and 2% registered at or over the legal blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) limit.
- In 2009, 18 percent of fatally injured drivers tested positive for least one drug (illegal, prescription and/or over-the-counter).
Watch for Key Signs
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires regular testing, but drugged truckers operate big-rigs on the roads every day. It’s important you know how to spot the signs of a drugged driver, which include:
- Swerving motions
- Drifting in and out of lanes
- Erratic motions, such as jerking and sudden braking or accelerating
- Aggressive driving, including behaviors like inappropriate gesturing and flashing lights
- Reckless driving, including speeding and tailgating
Knowing these signs, identifying drugged drivers on the road, alerting law enforcement right away, and keeping your distance are key if you encounter a drugged driver or another exhibiting these risky behaviors.
Enlist Aggressive Representation
Truck accident cases can become complicated quickly, and if you’ve been injured by a drugged driver, you need help now. At Tavss Fletcher, we invite you to meet with us to discuss your case, review your options, and develop a plan of action for your lawsuit. To begin a conversation with a member of our team, start a live online chat right now.