A recent study released by the State University of Londrina, Brazil, examined the substance abuse of truck drivers from countries around the world. America, with its massive amounts of land freight moved annually (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that around 11 billion tons of freight are transported via commercial trucks each year), figured prominently in the study, and some interesting conclusions were drawn about both the usage rates of drugs or alcohol by truckers and the reasons why short- or long-haul truck drivers would use them.
For example, younger truckers, those with the least experience and the lowest-paying jobs tended to be more likely to do drugs than older, more experienced counterparts. Also, those who took drugs or drank before driving were more likely to have the longest routes, and ones that involved the most night driving. Those who did drugs were also more likely to have a prior truck collision or violation on their record. Older drivers with shorter, daytime routes were the least likely to abuse any substances.
As for reasons behind drug use, some reported that loneliness or missing their family was a factor, but the majority of drivers who admitted to some form of drug or alcohol abuse claimed that money was their biggest motivator. They wanted the “buzz” from drugs so that they could driver longer and make more money in a shorter period of time, even if that meant forging log books or violating hours-of-service regulations mandating regular rest periods.
Other Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
Obviously, with more than 400,000 truck accidents happening annually, not all of them involve a drunk or drugged trucker. There are other causes behind those accidents, and the tens of thousands of serious injuries that occur when large commercial vehicles collide with smaller passenger cars.
Other common causes of trucking accidents in the U.S. include:
- Truck driver fatigue / hours of service violations
- Distracted driving on the part of the truck driver
- Improper loading causing the driver to lose control
- Overweight load causing tire blowouts
- Improper maintenance resulting in the loss of function
- Inexperience with traffic, weather or road conditions
- Speeding, reckless driving, or making dangerous maneuvers
- Following too closely behind smaller vehicles
Injured in a Truck Accident? The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC Can Help.
If you or a loved one has been injured by an intoxicated truck driver in Texas, you may be entitled to compensation. Seek the advice of an experienced truck accident attorney in Austin to learn more about your legal rights and options for holding the at-fault trucker or trucking company accountable. The personal injury lawyers at The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC are available 24/7, and initial consultations are free, so please don’t wait to give us a call.