Every day, the transportation industry puts thousands of drivers behind the wheels large trucks. While most of these truck drivers are professionals who remain dedicated to safety protocols, the fact remains that drug and alcohol use is responsible for a large number of truck crashes every year. Large trucks cause more damage in a collision than do smaller passenger vehicles. This makes drug and alcohol use among truck drivers an especially dangerous safety hazard.
After a truck accident, you need experienced legal representation to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries. Trust the experienced attorneys at the Dolman Law Group to handle your personal injury claim quickly, professionally, and fairly. Our lawyers have decades of experience in protecting the rights of accident victims in and around Clearwater, Florida. Their dedicated and professional service will protect your legal rights during the difficult period of recovery.
Every year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration releases a report of truck accident statistics. The most recent Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts report (with data from 2015) demonstrates some concerning trends in large truck accidents in the United States.
By improving drug testing requirements and the system of reporting violations, transportation companies will be better able to identify problem drivers. An improved system will also increase personal accountability among truck drivers to engage in safe driving habits. One solution has been proposed by a coalition of transportation carriers. Some of the largest and most influential companies in the industry have joined together in a request to the U.S. Department of Transportation to allow them to use hair follicle testing in lieu of the urine testing required under federal regulations.
Hair follicle testing is generally agreed to be a more accurate method of detecting prior drug use because drugs stay in the hair follicle longer than in urine. These carriers, therefore, use hair follicle testing as part of their employee drug testing policies but must provide duplicate urine tests to comply with DOT regulations. The proposed change to allow hair follicle testing would both save the cost of the duplicate test and provide a more accurate report on the truck driver’s prior drug use.
Another possible solution is the creation of a centralized database to maintain the records of any holder of a commercial driver’s license. This would alert employers to driving violations and crimes (such as DUI) committed by potential or current employees. It would also foster a sense of personal responsibility in all truck drivers, who would know that their driving and criminal records were easily accessible to any employer in the industry.
In addition to the federal regulations, employers can also implement their own drug and alcohol testing policies. Transportation companies which employ commercial drivers are wise to do so for many reasons. First, employers of impaired truck drivers can be legally responsible (“liable”) for the damage caused by that driver in an accident. Intoxicated drivers are more likely to impose liability upon their employers. Second, drug and alcohol testing can be an effective risk management strategy, by which the employer accesses lower insurance premiums. It also reduces the risk that the employer will suffer property damage and other unnecessary expenses. And third, preventing impaired driving saves lives.
While the costs of property damage can be easily measured, the cost of human life cannot. It falls to all drivers – and the companies which employ them – to mitigate the cost of human life by making the roads as safe as possible. The sad fact is that federal guidelines alone cannot prevent all fatal truck accidents.
The Dolman Law Group protects residents and visitors of Clearwater to ensure that truck accident victims are fairly compensated for their personal injury claims. Call (727) 451-6900 to schedule your free consultation with a personal injury attorney today. Our experienced, aggressive attorneys have decades of experience in protecting the rights of truck accident victims across southern Florida.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756