Earlier this month, a truck driver from Tennessee was carrying lumber in a tractor trailer and swerved into oncoming traffic. He struck five cars and many others were forced to drive their cars into the nearby fields to avoid the collision. Lumber flew off the tractor trailer and struck oncoming vehicles. Two other drivers lost their lives and the truck driver was airlifted to a local hospital and treated for his injuries.
An investigation into the cause of the truck accident found the truck driver was driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs in addition to speeding. A blood sample showed the truck driver was operating his vehicle with an alcohol content of .09, which is just over the legal limit for every day drivers. However, the legal alcohol limit for commercial drivers is .04. He was also under the influence of hydrocodone. The investigation also showed the truck driver was going at least 80 miles per hour, which was at least 20 miles over the speed limit for that area.
The truck driver was charged with two counts of manslaughter and two counts of aggravated criminal operating under the influence, all of which are felonies. The report says his driver’s license was suspended in Louisiana and revoked in Virginia due to charges of driving under the influence.
DRUNK TRUCK DRIVERS CAUSE SERIOUS INJURIES AND DEATH ON THE ROAD
Commercial truck drivers face long, monotonous hours on the road. As a result, many truck drivers turn to stimulants, such as cocaine, amphetamines normally prescribed for narcolepsy or ADHD or methamphetamine. Worse still, truck drivers have been known to combine these stimulants with other drugs, such as hydrocodone or alcohol to combat the effects. The stimulants side effects can include:
- Blurred vision
- Lack of coordination
BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR SIGNS OF DRUNK TRUCK DRIVERS
Combine these side effects with alcohol or narcotics and you have a very dangerous situation on the road. Drivers should always be weary when a truck is doing any of the following:
- Veering in and out of a lane
- Turning with too wide of a radius
- Driving too slowly or too fast
- Tailgating other vehicles
- Braking suddenly and erratically
Drunk driving is very dangerous, no matter what vehicle the driver is operating. However, there is no excuse for truck drivers who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, especially given the added weight and size of the vehicle compared to a passenger car. If you see a truck that is exhibiting any of the listed driving behaviors, keep a distance. If possible, pull over and notify the police.
Stanley A. Davis is a personal injury lawyer in Nashville, Tennessee that fights for victims who have been injured due to a truck accident caused by a drunk driver.
“One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and seek him in his temple.” Psalm 27:4