The scary truth is that many truck drivers behind the wheel of 80,000 pound trucks take medications to stay awake on the job, minimize pain, or treat various health conditions. Although anti-seizure medications, narcotics, and methadone drugs are automatically disqualifying drugs that truck drivers are not supposed to use, other medications may still be dangerous even though they may not disqualify a truck driver from operating a commercial vehicle. This is because many common medications—prescription, non-prescription, and illegal drugs—can adversely affect a trucker’s ability to operate a commercial vehicle.
Dangers of Medicated Truckers
No one wants to share the road with a truck driver who is using marijuana, cocaine, or another illegal drug. However, not many people realize that there are more truckers on the road abusing prescription drugs than illegal drugs—and this can be just as dangerous. Over the last several years, there has been a concern over truck drivers abusing prescriptions drugs. Prescription drug abuse as defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse is “the use of a medication without a prescription, in a way other than as prescribed, or for the experience or feelings elicited.”
Although many truck drivers take medications to help them stay alert while driving long hours, their actions can actually cause their reactions to slow and vision to blur. Additionally, truckers under the influence of drugs—even prescription drugs—aren’t able to think clearly. Thus, they make poor decisions behind the wheel that can lead to a crash.
Trucking companies are supposed to conduct drug tests and screen their truck drivers for health conditions; however, some trucking companies fail to do so. As a result, many truckers with dangerous medical conditions and those who abuse drugs are sharing the road with us.
If you were injured or a loved one died in an accident with a truck, an accident attorney can investigate to determine if a truck driver was impaired while driving. It is important to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer right away because the trucking company will get to work trying to cover up any evidence. For a complimentary consultation, please call us at (703) 591-0067 or fill out a short form on our Contact Us page today.