Being a commercial truck driver operating under a CDL license carries a great deal of responsibility. Not only are you responsible for transporting goods from one location to another, which can sometimes take several days to do, but you must do so safely. Unfortunately, truck accidents are a common occurrence and it is important that as a driver you understand what some of the procedures are that follow in the event a trucker is involved in a collision.
Because truck accidents occur for various reasons, Federal, State, or local law enforcement agencies will attempt to pinpoint why the incident transpired and who was at-fault. One of things they may do is have the surviving driver submit to an alcohol or controlled substance test given probable cause exists. Probable cause is when an officer of the law has reasonable grounds to make an arrest, search a vehicle, press charges for a crime, etc. when they suspect you committed an offense. In this case, if the officer believes that you may be under the influence based on how the accident occurred or your behavior, they can request that you submit to field sobriety testing.
Although many law enforcement officials may ask that you submit to one of these tests, not always will they require it of you. However, there are certain times where your employer is required to administer a post-accident test and we explain this below.
Now, let’s say the accident was a more serious one and the other driver involved passed away from their injuries at a later date. The driver’s employer is required to conduct post-accident testing, but they only have a limited timeframe to do so. For instance, the alcohol test must be administered within eight hours following the accident or 32 hours for a controlled substance test. If the employer does not administer either type of test within those timeframes, they can no longer attempt to have the driver take the test. Now, if the fatality occurred outside of the eight and/or 32-hour time limits, the employer is no longer required to administer the tests.
If my results from my controlled substance or alcohol test are pending, am I still permitted to drive?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says you are permitted to drive while you wait for the results of your tests to come back as long as there are no restrictions imposed.
If you are a truck driver in Chicago, Illinois who was involved in an accident, it would be in your best interest to discuss the incident with a truck crash attorney.
Should I speak with a Chicago, IL truck accident lawyer following my accident?
It can never hurt to consult with a Chicago, IL truck accident attorney as they can assess the details of your collision and determine if you are entitled to compensation or if the other party may come after you with a civil suit. The truck collision attorneys at Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. are qualified and capable of reviewing the details of your accident and determining if you are going to need legal assistance.
If you would like to contact the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd., you can do so at:
221 North La Salle Drive, Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60601