The semi-trucks that carry the freight we need to live our daily lives are huge, massively powerful machines. Even a minor accident with a commercial truck can easily result in serious injury, a totaled vehicle and much worse. It is an unfortunate reality that alcohol and substance abuse by the trucks’ drivers is increasingly the cause of these accidents.
This is evidenced in a report released by USA Mobile Drug Test (USAMDT). In their recent statistical breakdown of substance abuse in the trucking industry, half of the drivers interviewed admitted to drinking and driving. A shocking 30 percent confessed to using amphetamines while on the road.
The fallout of alcohol and drug use by truck drivers
The numbers can vary but driving while under the influence is consistently one of the top reasons for catastrophic accidents. In the case of trucking industry, just under 4,000 people died in accidents involving commercial vehicles in 2016. Of them, 66 percent were passengers in other vehicles.
These figures leave the question of why substance abuse is apparently so common among truck drivers.
One reason may be that there is a nationwide driver shortage. As reported by The Washington Post, a recent drought of drivers has left trucking companies desperate for workers. This can lead to lax hiring practices, turning a blind eye to illegal behavior and heavier workloads which may push drivers toward stimulants like amphetamines.
What can be done after an accident
Whatever the reason may be, being injured in an accident with a semi-truck is likely to leave a person injured and unable to work. That is when advocating for yourself is vital, and the best way to do so is to speak to an experienced attorney. A personal injury attorney will do everything in their power to help you gain the resources you need to get back on your feet and back to work.
There is more evidence in the wake of an accident than most people realize. A skilled attorney will leverage the facts of the crash with insurance to get a fair settlement or take the matter to court if necessary. This means money to cover medical bills, car repairs, lost wages, pain and wrongful death to name a few.
Don’t be afraid to hold the negligent party responsible if you’ve been injured in an accident. It may be the best decision you ever make.