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1 800 HURT 511

The Sanders Law Firm

Truck Accidents & Drug Use

Truck Accidents & Drug Use

A truck driver was arrested in late March 2015 after driving from the Bronx to Long Island in New York under the influence of cocaine, LSD, and crystal methamphetamine. The driver was caught by police outside of his truck at a gas station. Police noticed he was locked out of the truck, acting combative, and showing signs of drug use. He then admitted to police that he had used drugs. Police subsequently arrested the trucker.

All states, including New York, have laws prohibiting driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. The laws apply to all drivers, whether driving on the job or for personal use. In addition to state laws, commercial truck drivers must follow federal regulations adopted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These rules expressly prohibit driving while intoxicated. They also address prescription medication. For example, a driver cannot take a controlled substance or prescription medication without a prescription written by a licensed doctor or medical practitioner. There are certain medications that will prohibit a driver from being able to operate a truck under any circumstance.

After a truck or 18 wheeler crash, truck drivers may be subject to drug testing. Local law enforcement, including the police, sheriff’s department, or highway patrol, may decide to conduct its own drug testing of the defendant. Truckers believed to be under the influence of alcohol or another drug may be arrested at the scene and face criminal charges for their actions. There may be a criminal investigation before the District Attorney formally brings charges in criminal court.

Negligent truckers may also face civil liability in a truck accident case if they injure another driver, passenger, or pedestrian in the accident. While criminal and civil charges are separate, information in the criminal case file can be useful in civil court. This information includes the police report, witness statements, the defendant truck driver’s toxicology report, and any arrest affidavits.

While an alcohol toxicology report may be easy to interpret by looking at the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level, intoxication levels of other drugs that test positive may be more difficult to interpret. In those cases, it may be necessary to retain a toxicologist as an expert witness. Toxicology experts can review drug test results in detail and testify to the defendant’s level of intoxication at the time of the truck accident.

Research shows it is not uncommon at all for a truck driver to be under the influence of alcohol, stimulants, or other medication behind the wheel. Some truckers take stimulants to stay awake behind the wheel, especially during long shifts. Stimulants most often consumed for this reason are alcohol, amphetamines, cannabis, and cocaine, per a study published in 2013. Research further indicates that when under the influence, commercial truck drivers are more likely to fall asleep or take unnecessary risks on the road. Both of these lead to an increase in car accidents.

Medication usage can be dangerous if a trucker is in poor health.  In a 2017 study published by the University of Utah Health Sciences, researchers found that poor health of trucker drivers directly contributed to truck accidents.  Medical conditions linked to poor driving performance include heart disease, low back pain, and diabetes. Drivers with multiple conditions like these will see their risk of getting into an accident noticeably increase. Per the study, truck drivers are susceptible to developing poor health because they sit for long periods of time while driving, have trouble finding nutritious meals while out on the road, and deal with less than ideal sleeping conditions.

At HURT-511, our personal injury lawyers help injured workers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.

HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights and Woodlawn.

google Trusted Reviews

From Our Clients

Stephanie De La Cruz
quote

I was an UBER passenger and the car got rear-ended by a utility van. I called 1-800-HURT-511 since a friend dealt with them before and I was glad I did. My attorney was extremely professional and aggressive when necessary. He was transparent from the start and didn’t complicate things unnecessarily.

Stephanie De La Cruz

Jordan Barnes
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Serious team effort from the entire staff to get my work injury case resolved quickly. They built a strong case and kept me in the loop for the duration. This team also delivered on two previous occasions and did it in a very cost-effective way. A faithful customer for life thank you!

Jordan Barnes

Kevin Diaz
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I highly recommend HURT-511! When the insurance companies turned me away after a scary scooter accident that nearly killed me, a lawyer at HURT-511 stayed and fought for me and recovered the entire policy! Their staff is well-informed and always available to answer my questions. They treated me like one of their own and I made the right decision to stick with them. Thank you so much!

Kevin Diaz

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Our locations

  • QUEENS OFFICE

    163-07 Depot Road, Suite 101
    Flushing NY 11358

    104-70 Queens Blvd., #501
    Forest Hills NY 11375

  • BRONX OFFICE

    2932 Wilkinson Ave,
    The Bronx NY 10461

  • BROOKLYN OFFICE

    1733 Sheepshead Bay Rd, Suite 43
    Brooklyn NY 11235

  • LONG ISLAND OFFICE

    100 Herricks Road,
    Mineola NY 11501

    100 Garden City Plaza, Suite 500
    Garden City NY 11530

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