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New Rules to Prevent Impaired Truck Driving

Fiol Law Group|Posted in Car Accidents on April 27, 2017

People who live in Tampa, Florida know that driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not only illegal but also can cause serious injury or even death if an accident results. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is focused on helping to reduce impaired driving among people taking certain drugs by its recent issuance to drug makers of guidelines for how to determine which drugs may cause impairment that could hinder a person’s ability to drive a vehicle safely.

While the FDA’s effort is focused on all drivers, another effort currently underway another government entity, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, focuses specifically on commercially licensed drivers. The Commercial Carrier Journal offers details about what is called the Commercial Driver’s Drug and Alcohol Clearing house rule and how it is aimed at reducing driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol by truckers and other commercial vehicle operators.

Statistics of Impaired Truck Driving

It is all too easy to understand the serious nature of drunk driving or drugged driving involving tractor-trailers and other large trucks by reviewing records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Specific data shows:

  • In 2011, a total of 9,865 deaths resulted from drunk driving crashes nationwide.
  • In the accidents that led to those deaths, 43 of the impaired drivers were operating large trucks.
  • In 2012, a total of 10,322 deaths resulted from drunk driving crashes nationwide.
  • In the accidents that led to the 2012 deaths, 80 of the impaired drivers were operating large trucks.

The number of drunk driving deaths overall rose by 4.6 percent between the two years while the number of drunk driving deaths caused by truck drivers rose by 86 percent.

What Can Be Done to Reduce the Risk?

The FMCSA’s new database will offer commercial driving employers a way to review driving applicants’ records related to drug or alcohol use prior to making hiring decisions. In fact, a review of an applicant’s record will be required by law before a driver can be hired for a new job.

In addition to a record screening, employers must receive test results from all applicants from substance screening. These results are to be submitted to the database by the employer.

Drivers that choose not to take drug or alcohol tests will not be allowed to work in driving jobs but can be hired for other positions.

What To Do After A Truck Accident

When any truck accident happens, seeking help from an experienced truck accident attorney is recommended. There can be many complexities in these cases and it is important for victims to receive just compensation.

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