Last year, a Tennessee semi-truck accident killed six people and injured four others. The truck was traveling on Interstate 75 when traffic slowed to accommodate a marked work zone. The truck driver failed to slow with traffic and slammed into a car, creating a crash sequence that involved seven vehicles and 18 people.
The incident was investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which found the driver was not only fatigued but using methamphetamine at the time of the accident. The report went on to say the truck driver had the opportunity to stop and rest overnight before the truck accident and had likely gone without rest for 40 hours. Additionally, it was found the truck company did not have the entire driving history of the truck driver and failed to screen for risk factors prior to hiring the driver. Had the company done so, it would have discovered prior incidents on the driver’s record.
WHAT IS BEING DONE TO COMBAT TRUCK DRIVER DRUG USE?
Since the results of the truck crash have been released, the NTSB gave seven new safety recommendations to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and several other agencies. The recommendations cover a range of issues, such as:
- Truck driver performance
- Drug testing programs for truck drivers
- Inadequacies in drivers license records and background checks
- Trucks and other vehicles in construction work zones
Last year, the FMCSA increased the number of random drug testing for truck companies, requiring them to administer half as many tests as they had drivers each year.
While truck drivers face daily pressures to deliver loads quickly, drivers who impair themselves by using drugs to stay on the road longer are jeopardizing the safety of others. Hopefully, the new safety recommendations from the NTSB decreases the number of impaired truck drivers on the road in Tennessee.
The Law Office of Stanley A. Davis fights for those injured in Nashville truck accidents. We have been successfully helping those injured due to negligence since 1997.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interest of others.” Philippians 2:4