Posted on Monday, April 17th, 2017 at 2:19 am
Drug and alcohol use by drivers is a serious problem in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 10,265 people were killed during 2015 in alcohol-impaired driving accidents. California had the second highest number of alcohol-impaired fatalities (914) that year. It is estimated that drugs, legal and illegal, are involved in about 16% of traffic accidents.
Drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs put everyone at risk. However, truck drivers who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can cause much more damage because of the extensive damage a commercial truck causes in a crash. In accidents involving large trucks, 84 percent of the fatalities are sustained by occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, or bicyclists. Therefore, when a truck driver gets behind the wheel of a truck after drinking or taking drugs, he is taking an enormous risk with the lives of every other person on the road.
Laws Governing Impaired Driving for Truck Drivers
Federal law sets the blood alcohol limit for commercial truck drivers as .04, one-half the typical legal BAC limit in most states. Lawmakers recognize how dangerous it is to attempt to operate a commercial vehicle after consuming alcohol. In addition, there is a zero tolerance for drug use by commercial truck drivers. Even with strict laws, many truck drivers choose to ignore the risks and the potential penalties.
One study revealed that roughly 30 percent of the truck drivers surveyed admitted using amphetamines. Studies also revealed that 20 percent of truck drivers use marijuana and three percent use cocaine. Another study stated that commercial truck drivers in the United States had the highest frequency of positive alcohol tests.
Operating a commercial truck is much more complicated than driving a passenger vehicle. Truck drivers must be sober and alert at all times; anything else can be considered negligent.
Filing a Truck Accident Claim
If a drunk or drugged commercial truck driver injures you, you have the right to file a claim seeking compensation for your damages. However, you must prove that the truck driver caused the accident that resulted in your injuries. It is not sufficient to prove the driver was drunk or using drugs at the time of the crash. While that could be a factor in the case, a drunk driver or drugged driver could be a victim of a car accident.
An experienced Sacramento truck accident attorney can help gather the evidence required to prove the drunk truck driver caused the collision. An attorney can also gather the evidence needed to prove the severity of damages to maximize the amount of compensation received for your claim. Furthermore, if the employer knew or should reasonably have known the driver was using drugs or consuming alcohol when driving, the employer may be held liable. An attorney can help determine if this is the case.
Call a Sacramento Truck Accident Attorney for Help
Please don’t wait to contact an attorney if a drunk or drugged driver caused your injury. You have a limited time to file a truck accident claim under California law. Call the Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 for a free, no-obligation legal consultation.