• Brad Keating

The Harmful Effects Of Drug And Alcohol Use Among Truck Drivers

Within certain businesses, having a fleet of trucks and drivers is essential. Truck drivers play a critical role in the economy since they are responsible for transporting goods and other products to different parts across many states. For instance, it is estimated that there are close to two million commercial truck drivers in the US. However, the major challenges often experienced by long-haul truck drivers include boredom, fatigue, long hours on the road, working under isolation circumstances. As a result, some of the drivers will turn to substance and alcohol abuse on the road. However, this behavior poses a danger not only to themselves but other road users. Read on to learn the harmful effects of drug and alcohol use among truck drivers.


Harmful effects of drugs and alcohol on truck drivers

Property Loss


Collisions involving haulage trucks are usually catastrophic and can cause serious property damages. If you have been involved in an accident that has been caused by a truck driver under the influence of alcohol and drugs, you are entitled to get compensation. Either the responsible truck driver or the trucking company will pay compensation for property damages to the victims. This can lead to financial losses to the trucking company which can affect its viability in the long run. The trucker can also face lawsuits that can affect its image and this may lead to loss of business.


Injuries


If you take drugs incorrectly, they can cause side effects that lead to serious health complications. If you take stimulants behind the wheel, you put yourself at great risk of stroke or heart attack. This can lead to injuries. In most cases, a truck accident due to drug and alcohol abuse can cause severe injuries to the driver and other road users. Driving under the influence of alcohol can also lead to the injuries of other innocent road users.


Impaired Driving


Drugs and alcohol can impair the driver’s ability to stay safe on the road. For instance, opioids and marijuana are depressants that usually affect the driver’s reaction time. As a result, the driver will react slowly which often leads to crashes. Any slight impairment behind the wheel can lead to a fatal crash. Other stimulants like energy drinks and amphetamines can also affect the driver’s perceptions of their abilities and often leads to aggressive driving. If you are impaired by stimulants, you are likely to drive fast and engage in aggressive behavior on the road. This can easily lead to a catastrophic accident.


Lawsuits


When a truck driver is liable for causing an accident that leads to injuries and property damage, they are liable to pay compensation to the victims. The issue of drug and alcohol abuse is very serious, and the at-fault driver is liable for paying compensation to the victims. However, the challenge is that this case might not affect the driver only since the trucker’s insurance company may end up getting involved.


To protect the image of the company, the owners of the company often find themselves footing the bills for damages as claimed by the accident victims. Some of the damages that truckers must pay include medical bills, surgeries, prescription drugs, hospital stays, and future medical care. The trucking company may also compensate the victims for pain and suffering, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, loss of emotional and financial support if the breadwinner dies in an accident caused by a driver under the influence of drugs and alcohol.


Suspension of truck driving license

Suspension of License


If a trucking company has a reputation for constant cases of accidents caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs, it can suffer heavy consequences in the long run. If the trucking company fails to adhere to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), it can face penalties. Drivers risk losing their licenses, and the truckers can pay heavy penalties. A driver can also risk termination of employment and might face criminal prosecution. In worst-case scenarios, a trucking company can face the risk of being deregistered if it fails to reign and monitors the behavior of the drivers. The FMCSA has strict regulations that must be adhered to under whatever condition.


Commercial truck drivers play a pivotal role in any economy since they are responsible for distributing goods. While drivers may work under difficult conditions, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs is extremely dangerous, and it is a crime. All commercial truck drivers should follow proper traffic safety regulations when using public roads. Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs can cause harmful effects to the drivers and the owners of the trucking company.