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Can Any Amount of Regulation Protect Drivers When Truckers Use Drugs?

August 25, 2016 | Category: Car Accidents

On January 8 of this year, a CA truck driver lost control of his vehicle, struck a concrete barrier and overturned his truck. According to an article published by Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, the trucker had previously tested positive on four separate occasions and failed to comply with drug testing requirements after the accident. He has since been declared by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to be an imminent public safety hazard, and he is prohibited from commercial motor vehicle operation.

In spite of his loss of privileges, however, each Los Angeles auto accident attorney at our firm feels compelled to question whether current regulations are capable of making the roads as safe as intended.

Motorists Need to Be Vigilant when Driving Near Large Commercial Trucks

If one lesson can be learned by the truck accident story, it appears that truckers can easily flout the many drug-related regulations currently in effect. This driver had a history of failing drug tests, undergoing required counseling and then not showing up for follow-up tests. Until the accident, neither the trucking company nor trucking officials seemed to know that a dangerous trucker continued to engage in risky behavior.

The good news is that the truck accident affected no other motorists. However, regardless of whether truckers take only prescribed medication, take amphetamines to remain alert on the road or drink a beer or two believing it will not affect them, everyone sharing the roads needs to learn to identify intoxicated or drugged truckers and take proactive action to stay well out the way. A good place to start is by reviewing How to Spot a Drunk Driver, published by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.

Victims Injured in Truck Accidents Need to Understand the Challenges When Pursuing Compensation

It is logical for an injury victim to expect full and fair compensation for injury and other related expenses in cases where the trucker is proven to be impaired at the time of the accident. Still, this one accident is an example of a trucker who managed to avoid post-accident testing, even after having a known history of drug abuse. Furthermore, a driver's trucking company is likely to share liability when they do not take enough action to prevent impaired drivers from operating company vehicles.

Truck accident victims can expect to go against a powerful team of dedicated trucking company lawyers. They need their own lawyers who can investigate issues such as the following:

  • Trucker drug or alcohol use histories
  • Results of any tests performed after the accident
  • Degree of the driver's compliance with state and federal regulations
  • Degree of the trucking company's compliance with regulations
  • Status of the CDL license at the time of the accident

This is not the time to attempt to file a simple insurance claim. The burden of proof is on the accident victim. To engage a lawyer with the skills, experience and resources necessary to fully investigate these accidents, call us at (844) 478-3626 / (844) 4RUDMAN, at our Los Angeles office at (213) 375-3777 or at our Studio City office (818) 769-6969.

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