Long Hours and No Sleep- Why Many Truckers in Virginia Turn to Drugs and Alcohol

There is no doubt that commercial truck drivers have a difficult job.  When you consider the miles they drive and the working conditions they face it is no wonder that you too often hear about serious accidents involving semi-trucks.  The job is made even more difficult by trucking companies that demand too much of their drivers.  Though federal trucking laws mandate that truckers do not drive for more than 11 hours in a row and drive less than 77 hours a week, companies often allow, even encourage workers to surpass these limits.

This puts the trucker in a very dangerous position.  Overtired, a driver may turn to alcohol and prescription, illegal or over the counter stimulants in order to stay awake.  Driving while overtired is extremely dangerous; when you add in drugs and alcohol the results can be deadly.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a study of long haul semi-truck drivers.  They found that 19% of all drivers tested positive for marijuana use.  12% had in their truck non-prescription stimulants, 5% had prescription stimulants, 2% had cocaine and 1% had alcohol in their system.  Though many of these numbers seem low, the concern lies in the fact that even seemingly safe stimulants can be dangerous to the trucker and the drivers he shares the road with. 

Heavy use of stimulants, to include caffeinated beverages, has been known to cause caffeine overdose or caffeine intoxication.  This serious condition can cause nervousness, excitement, flushing of the face, muscle tremors, mania, depression, confusion, hallucinations and psychosis.  All this from easily accessible stimulates.

If you have been hurt during an accident with a truck you know how terrifying such an event can be.  Injuries from such a serious collision can require multiple medical procedures and treatments.  Before you know it you may be buried in debt.  Don't let the situation get out of control.  Contact your Virginia Beach personal injury attorney at Tavss Fletcher today for your free consultation.