There is some dispute about how many US and Miami Beach truck accidents may be caused by truck drivers who use illegal, prescription, and over-the-counter drugs that may impair their driving. Some investigative reports and former truckers claim that drug use is a wide-spread problem in the trucking industry. Some allege that tight deadlines and long hours make drivers reliant on drugs in order to meet work deadlines. They also note that the challenges drivers face often affect their health and compel them to use prescription and over-the-counter drugs while on the road.
Other trucking industry experts note that drug use is not a large problem. They note that truck drivers have much safer driving records than average passenger car drivers. They also note that truck drivers are subject to random drug testing to ensure that they are drug-free. Some point out that passenger car drivers are more likely to cause Miami Beach drunk driving accidents and car accidents because these checks are not in place for passenger car drivers. The Transportation Department also notes that truck accident deaths have been declining – and that driver error is the most common cause of commercial truck accidents.
Some investigations suggest that drug testing alone may not be enough. A 2007 investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 75 percent of drug testing sites did not remove items that could be used to alter drug specimens. Undercover officers for the GAO were also able to purchase online products that hide drug use and were able to add them to urine samples at the testing sites without being caught.
Possibly as a result of testing challenges, it is difficult for experts to note how many truck drivers are using illegal or restricted drugs on the road. According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), in 2007 less than 2% of randomly tested truck drivers tested positive for controlled drugs. However, when Oregon started testing truck drivers on its roads randomly on its own, it found that 9% of commercial truck drivers failed a random drug test.
Whatever the exact rates of drug test failures are, there is no doubt that any drug use by commercial truckers can – and does — lead to fatalities and serious injuries. Drivers who are impaired and make errors that lead to Miami Beach car accidents, which in turn lead to brain injuries, amputations, spinal cord injuries, and other serious injuries. No matter what efforts have been made so far in reducing the use of controlled substances among commercial truck drivers, more needs to be done to prevent accidents caused by this problem.
If you have been in a Miami Beach truck accident that you think may be caused by an impaired driver, you may want to contact an experienced Miami Beach personal injury attorney. Commercial truck accidents are already complicated due to the multiple parties involved, but proving impairment can be even more challenging. A qualified Miami Beach personal injury attorney can advise you of your rights and options so that you do not have to face the aftermath of your accident by yourself.
The Flaxman Law Group law team has decades of experience with South Florida traffic accident and personal injury claims. Contact the Flaxman Law Group today to arrange for a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney.