In its “Most Wanted List” for desired safety improvements in 2016, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is aiming to end the prevalence of substance abuse among drivers, including truck drivers. Drivers’ negligence in driving under the influence, whether a small vehicle driver or a truck driver, has serious, and all too often, deadly results, both in Texas and nationwide.
Alcohol use is a common source of accidents and undoubtedly drunk truck drivers are a serious problem, but the NTSB also points to the increasing prevalence of drugged driving as a dangerous trend. Drivers are taking drugs in a number of forms, whether illegal drugs, over-the-counter drugs, or prescription medications, and all have the possibility of impairing a truck driver such that he or she cannot properly operate his or her big rig.
The NTSB is striving for increased education among drivers. According to the agency, many drivers may not be aware of how over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs can impair their abilities, and this can have dangerous results. Furthermore, the NTSB wants drivers to have conversations with their doctors before starting medications so that drivers will understand how certain medications may impair their driving abilities, as well as how some medical conditions can increase the likelihood of truck accidents.
There are many ways that safety can be improved for the benefit of all drivers on the roads. Reducing truck drivers’ use of drugs and alcohol is one important step. Nonetheless, impaired truck drivers will undoubtedly continue to travel Texas’ highways. If you have been injured due to a truck driver who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may have a cause of action. A lawyer may be able to discuss your legal options and potential for recovery.
Source: ntsb.gov, “End Substance Impairment in Transportation,” accessed March 25, 2016