A federal clearinghouse identified more than 56,000 drug and alcohol violations among the nation’s truck drivers in 2020. More than 45,000 drivers lost their jobs as a result.
Truck drivers are held to stricter standards than other motorists, especially when it comes to alcohol consumption. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for truckers is 0.04 — just half the legal limit for non-commercial drivers. It’s no surprise that violations can have deadly consequences. When they do, the truck driver and the trucking company could be held liable for their negligence.
Were you hurt in a semi-truck accident and suspect the truck driver was impaired? A Florida truck accident lawyer at Brooks Law Group can investigate the case and help you pursue compensation for your injuries and other losses. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
Identifying Substance Abuse on the Road
The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is a tool developed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the agency responsible for regulating the trucking industry. The purpose of the database is to provide an ongoing record of drivers’ history of compliance and prevent them from job-hopping after they fail a drug or alcohol test.
Motor carriers, state driver’s licensing agencies, and law enforcement officials use the clearinghouse to check a driver’s record. It closes a loophole that for decades has allowed drivers with substance abuse problems to remain on the road anyway.
Marijuana was the substance most often revealed by the clearinghouse tests, followed by cocaine and amphetamines. More than 1,100 tests indicated some attempts by truck drivers to cheat on the tests.
When an impaired driver causes an accident, a detailed investigation can determine who should be held accountable for any resulting injuries. The truck driver who chooses to drink or use drugs could certainly be to blame. However, if the trucker’s employer failed to do a proper background check prior to hiring and missed a track record of DUIs on the driver’s record, it could also bear some responsibility for the wreck.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hit by a Drunk Truck Driver
Because truck accidents can result in catastrophic injuries, you may need to be transported straight from the accident scene. If you’re able, there are some actions you can take to protect your legal rights:
- Check yourself, your passengers, and others involved in the wreck for injuries.
- Call 911.
- If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location.
- Gather information and evidence, including the insurance information of all drivers, photos of the accident scene, and witness contact information.
- See a doctor even if you don’t feel hurt. Some injuries don’t present immediately.
- Hire an experienced Florida truck accident attorney.
- Let your lawyer handle statements to the truck driver and/or the insurance company.
- Don’t post on social media and discourage your family and friends from doing the same.
Contact a Florida Truck Accident Injury Lawyer If You’ve Been Injured
How you handle yourself immediately after you’re injured in a truck accident may determine the trajectory of your entire personal injury claim. Let Brooks Law Group review your case in a free consultation. Call or contact us today.