Commercial truck driving is a crucial and important facet of commerce in the United States. Truck drivers are highly utilized, especially recently with the prevalence of online shopping. Due to the demand placed on them, truck drivers are often overworked and are expected to follow strict delivery deadlines. With this increase in trucking activity, and often a shortage of labor, some truck drivers turn to stimulants and other drugs to keep them awake so that they can travel longer distances in a given day.
Aside from the obvious criminal and physical health issues that arise when individuals are taking illicit drugs, there is also a major danger to those with whom these drivers share the road. A few years ago, a study was conducted that analyzed how frequently truck drivers use drugs while on their shift. The study combined self-surveys and physical tests. Interestingly, the study had the highest positive result for alcohol use while on shift. In addition, the study revealed that truck drivers were frequently using amphetamines, cocaine, and other psychoactive drugs to stay awake.
Recently, an industry news source reported that the American Trucking Association (ATA) is lobbying the federal government to require hair samples as a form of mandatory drug testing. The organization has put forth the effort to allow companies to use hair testing instead of urinalysis. The ATA explained that many trucking companies have the burden of paying for testing out-of-pocket because the government does not cover it, and they should be given a choice in how the testing is conducted. Supporters also argue that hair analysis is a much more reliable form of drug testing, and it is more effective at preventing habitual use. It is believed that more stringent testing will reduce the number of truck driver accidents.
Truck Driving Accidents Because of Drug Use
Accidents involving truck drivers have become so prevalent that even trucking organizations are taking forceful steps to manage and ensure that their employees are not engaging in dangerous behavior. Some forward-thinking trucking companies have taken steps to reduce the number of hours that truck drivers are allowed to work and implemented more stringent and frequent drug testing. However, unfortunately, many companies are still motivated by the bottom line and try to skirt federal requirements.
Have You Been Injured in a New Mexico Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident in New Mexico, you should contact an attorney at the Fine Law Firm. An attorney at the Fine Law Firm can assist you in understanding your rights and remedies and help you seek the compensation you deserve. If you are successful, you may be entitled to compensation to cover the past, current, and future expenses related to your injuries. Contact one of the dedicated attorneys at the Fine Law Firm today at 800-640-6590 to schedule your free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
The Importance of Truck Driver Training and Compliance in New Mexico, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, March 7, 2017.
Hit-and-Run Truck Accident Liability in New Mexico, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, February 18, 2017.