LONGVIEW, Texas. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2014 there were 3,978 fatal accidents involving large trucks. 95,000 people were injured in truck accidents in 2014. These accidents can be devastating to victims and families. Semi trucks and big rigs carry large loads. As a result, accidents involving passenger vehicles can be deadly and result in more serious injury. Truck accidents occur for many reasons. Distracted driving, fatigue, failure to obey the rules of the road, and drinking and driving are all contributing factors in truck accidents. Frighteningly, there have been more reports of truck drivers using drugs and drinking and driving. Unfortunately, when truck drivers break the law, the people who suffer are often passenger vehicle drivers or passengers who were following the law and driving defensively.
As reports have come in suggesting increased drug and alcohol use among truck drivers, the government has tried to step in to better regulate the industry. According to The Hill, the Transportation Department faced staunch opposition from the trucking industry when it tried to establish a database listing truck drivers who have failed drug and alcohol tests. The database would also include drivers who refused to take drug and alcohol tests. Supporters of the database claimed that it would make it easier for truck companies to hire drivers with clean records, resulting in safer roads. Mothers Against Drunk Driving supported the database, arguing that it would help prevent drunk drivers from getting jobs in the trucking industry.
As the law stands, truck drivers are required to report failed drug and alcohol tests, but this process provides little oversight when the drivers lie to employers. Many argue that the system has a loophole that allows employers to claim ignorance if a driver gets into an accident after drinking. Drivers sometimes work for several truck companies, so a driver who uses drugs or who chooses to drink and drive may continue to work for companies even after breaking the law. This poses a serious risk to other drivers on the road.
According to the CCJ, some truck companies are randomly being asked to submit the results of their drug and alcohol tests. Drivers are randomly tested in order to ensure that they are not using drugs or alcohol.
Despite these measures, accidents continue to happen. Truck drivers are on the road for longer periods of time and carry much larger loads than the typical driver. This means that when truck drivers drink or use drugs, they pose a greater risk to the general public. The Cooper Law Firm are Texas big rig accident attorneys who see the devastating effects truck accidents can have on victims and families. Fortunately, the law offers families and survivors the ability to seek a recovery and pursue justice when a truck driver breaks the law. If you or a loved one has been injured in a semi truck accident, you may only have a limited amount of time to seek a recovery under the law. Visit https://www.cooper-law-firm.com/ to learn more about your options and rights.