If you are a trucker on a long-haul route, you may be tempted to resort to any measure necessary to stay awake during your shift and get to your destination safely and on time. In 2016, almost 4,000 people were fatally injured in accidents involving trucks in the United States. Statistics show that the most dangerous truck hauls are those that are over 51 miles. This accounts for most truck routes. Additionally, about one in four truck drivers fall asleep at the wheel each month.
Truck Drivers Use Stimulants to Stay Awake
To avoid accidents and protect their jobs, truckers may use stimulants to stay awake during their shifts. At the start of a shift, the driver must have had the proceeding eight hours off from driving. This is not always the case. While these federal regulations are in place, it is not always clear that these rules are followed, especially when drivers have increasing pressure to be on time and where there may be driver shortages.
Effects of Drug Abuse on Truck Drivers
In a recent random drug sampling of truckers, approximately six percent of truck drivers are abusing stimulants, such as cocaine, methamphetamines, and amphetamines. Although some drivers may believe that these drugs make them more alert and able to drive more safely, these drugs can have the opposite affect and alter the driver’s cognitive and motor functions, which have negative effects on attention span, focus, decision making, coordination, and impulse control. Additionally, as the drug begins to leave the body, drivers can feel aggressive, excessively drowsy, paranoid, or they can experience delusions. These effects could even be more dangerous than drowsy driving.
Driving under the influence of drugs and aggressive driving have also been found to be the leading cause of accidents. When truck drivers are under the influence or feeling aggressive because of stimulants, they are a danger to other drives on the road. Although stimulants may solve sleep issues, they may increase the number of accidents involving trucks.
Cherry Hill Truck Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Help Victims of Truck Accidents
If you or someone you know has been hurt in a truck accident, the Cherry Hill truck accident lawyers at DiTomaso Law can help if the driver was under the influence of stimulants or other substances during the accident. Our offices are in Philadelphia and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, where we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including the areas of Cherry Hill, Mt. Holly, and Camden County. Contact us today at 856-414-0010 or submit an online inquiry form for a free consultation.