Truck driving is a hard and stressful job marked by long, lonely hours. So, perhaps it’s not surprising that some truckers turn to drugs.
However, most people would be shocked by how widespread the problem is. In 2013, one international study found that half of truckers admitted to drinking on the job, and 30 percent said they had used amphetamines while driving.
If you’ve been hit by a large truck, you need to find out whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash, and an experienced attorney can help. In this article, we’ll talk about the most common drugs that truck drivers use and explain how truck accident lawyers uncover drug use.
Common Truck Driver Drugs Include Marijuana, Cocaine, and Amphetamines
According to statistics from a July 2020 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration report, 28,445 truckers who were tested for drug and alcohol use tested positive for a substance. The most common illegal drugs taken, along with the number of tests identified were:
- Marijuana (15,492)
- Cocaine (4,544)
- Methamphetamine (2,979)
- Amphetamine (2,828)
- Oxymorphone (778)
Other illegal drugs that were less commonly ingested include MDMA, methylenedioxyamphetamine, morphine, PCP and 6-Monoacetylmorphine.
The side effects of the most common truck driver drugs include:
- Marijuana: Impaired memory, mood changes, difficulty with problem-solving and thinking, delusions, and psychosis
- Cocaine: Increased body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate, tremors, muscle twitches, erratic behavior, and restlessness
- Methamphetamine: Paranoia, insomnia, mood disturbances, impaired verbal learning, and reduced motor speed
- Amphetamine: High or low blood pressure, loss of appetite, nosebleed, teeth grinding, apprehension, insomnia, and obsessive behaviors
- Oxymorphone: Dry mouth, anxiety, confusion, hallucinations, changes in heartbeat, seizures, and fainting
In general, drivers use drugs to stay awake and alleviate boredom. Cocaine and methamphetamine are especially widespread among truckers as “energy boosters” to get through long shifts. However, almost all illegal drugs, including stimulants, can contribute to truck wrecks by impairing a truck driver’s ability to drive safely.
How Do I Know if the Driver Who Hit Me Was on Drugs?
In a perfect world, the police would show up after a crash, perform a detailed investigation to figure out who is at fault, and get all the details right when creating a police report. However, that’s not the world we live in. At Seattle Truck Law, we’ve handled countless cases where factors like driver negligence and drug abuse only came out after we launched a painstaking investigation and pored through the evidence after a crash.
A dedicated truck accident lawyer can use proved methods to discover drug use and show how it helped cause your injuries. Your lawyer can:
- Secure the results of a truck driver’s drug test
- Access medical records
- View blood test results
- Collect witness statements and footage from cameras
- Evaluate statements from the truck driver and other witnesses to look for discrepancies and gaps
- Secure expert witnesses to testify about the presence of drug use and its role in causing the crash
What to Do After a Truck Driver Hits You
Usually, truck crashes inflict terrible injuries on the victims, so it’s challenging to collect your thoughts and get organized after a truck crash. However, the sooner you start thinking about your legal options, the better. You may be entitled to compensation from the truck driver’s insurance company for the losses you’ve suffered, but the insurance company will start working immediately to protect themselves and avoid liability.
If you get a phone call from the truck driver’s insurance company, do not give them a statement, accept a settlement, or sign anything until you’ve talked to an experienced truck accident lawyer. The insurance company is not looking out for your interests — all they want is for your case to go away as cheaply as possible.
To protect your rights and get the information you need to evaluate the insurance company’s offer, you need the advice and guidance of an experienced truck accident lawyer. A good attorney can tell you how strong your case is, figure out how much your injuries will cost you over the long term, and explain all your options for compensation.
Contact Truck Seattle Truck Law Today If You’ve Been Hurt in a Trucking Accident
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a crash involving a large truck or bus, contact Morgan Adams and the Seattle Truck Law team today. We’ll listen to your story and advise you about your legal options during a free consultation, and when you choose us to represent you, we’ll investigate all the causes of the crash that injured you and pursue every available option to get you the compensation you deserve.
To schedule your free initial consultation today, call us at (866) 580-HURT or fill out our quick and easy online contact form. The sooner you reach out, the sooner we can move to preserve evidence and make sure your rights are protected, so call us now.
Doyle, K. (2013). Drug use high among commercial truck drivers: study. Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-drug-truckdrivers-idUSBRE99O0T520131025
Fatality Facts 2018: Large trucks. (2019). Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Retrieved from https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/large-trucks
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. (2020, August). Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse: July 2020 Monthly Summary Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved from https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/Resource/Index/monthly-report-July2020
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.