Killed by a Drunk Truck Driver – Is Alcohol Use Common in Truckers?

Photo of accidentAn Ocean Township man recently died after being rear-ended by a tractor-trailer. The accident occurred in mid-afternoon on September 7 on Route 440. The trucker smashed into the back of a Hyundai Sonata and jackknifed, striking two other vehicles. The driver of the Sonata was pushed into the back of another vehicle and was pronounced dead an hour later. The truck driver was charged with driving under the influence. Other drivers were treated for minor injuries.

Prior to the accident, a witness called 911 to report the truck driver’s erratic driving.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Many truck accidents occur due to the actions of other drivers, but not all of them. There are certain characteristics inherent to the trucking industry that can lead to accidents. These can include things like inadequate training with regard to driving technique or safety concerns. Drivers are sometimes incentivized to drive faster or falsify their hours-of-service for higher compensation. Additionally, high expectations from employers as well as unrealistic schedules can lead to higher speeds or fatigued driving.

Other causes of truck accidents include things like poor or improper truck maintenance. Companies are responsible for inspecting and maintaining their fleets of trucks. If defective equipment is discovered to be the cause of an accident, the company can be held liable.

And, of course, drugs and alcohol can contribute to a crash. There are strict rules regarding drugs and alcohol for truckers. For example, the legal limit for alcohol in a truck driver’s blood is half that of the average motorist limit. In some states, this applies even when the truck driver is not operating commercial vehicles. Drivers are also not allowed to drink within four hours of starting a shift. Over the counter drugs, prescription drugs and illegal drugs are all problems in the trucking industry as well. Stimulants (“uppers”) are particularly prevalent due to the laborious, long nature of truck driver routes.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a drunk or drugged truck driver, you have options for recovery. Speak to a truck accident attorney to find out more.

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