Each year throughout the nation, thousands of innocent motorists are killed by large trucks. If a semi truck plows into the rear of a passenger car, switches lanes on top of a vehicle, or runs a car off the side of the road, the outcome can be devastating, often resulting in serious injuries and even death.
The Reality of Southern California Truck Crashes
The roads in and around Southern California are constantly crowded with vehicles, including large semi trucks. Orange County truck accidents occur frequently, but truck drivers could prevent the majority of these crashes if they avoided certain bad behaviors, such as speeding, tailgating, aggressive driving, drunk driving, driving under the influence of drugs, and more.
One of the growing problems in the trucking industry is the use of illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medications. When commercial truck drivers use drugs of any kind, it can affect their reaction time, ability to make safe decisions, and concentration behind the wheel.
Studies Indicate Drug Use Contributes to Truck Crashes
In 2007, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS). It looked at hundreds of nationwide truck accidents to determine the top reasons for truck crashes in the United States. Surprisingly, drug use was the biggest cause of truck crashes. The study found that 26% of truck accidents were caused by the use of illicit or prescription drugs. It was also discovered that over-the-counter medications contributed to 18% of truck crashes.
A large tractor-trailer is hard enough to operate and control without the interference of drugs. Driving while under the influence of drugs affects the individual’s reaction time and ability to drive safely, often leading to serious crashes with other motorists.
Truck Drivers Can Be Tested for Drugs after an Orange County Truck Crash
The good news for motorists is that commercial truckers are required by the Federal Department of Transportation to be tested for drugs after a crash if the crash resulted in a fatality or injury, or if the accident disabled another vehicle. The test must be taken within 32 hours of the truck crash.
It is important to have a skilled Orange County truck crash attorney on your side immediately after a truck accident.
An experienced lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation, make sure that the appropriate tests are given to the truck operator involved in the crash, and ensure that any evidence is preserved after the accident. Please contact the qualified Mission Viejo truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of John P. Burns today, and we will work to make sure that the negligent truck driver is held accountable for his actions. Call (877)320-1338 for a free legal consultation.