Truck Driver Drug Use in Las Vegas
Large trucks carry thousands of tons of hazardous and non-hazardous materials across the U.S. each day and any impairment of the drivers in charge of these cargos is a problem for everyone on the road.
Although spokesmen for the trucking industry have stated that the rate of drug use among truck drivers is essentially the same as or lower than that of drivers of other vehicles, this is small consolation and debatable at best.
Two factors that may account for drug and alcohol use by truck drivers:
- Economic pressures on truck drivers to deliver their cargos as quickly as possible – and to continue to deliver as much cargo as possible – have resulted in the use of stimulants such as methamphetamine and cocaine to help the drivers stay awake on long hauls.
- Boredom of driving hundreds of miles a day, year after year, is assuaged by drugs such as marijuana and alcohol.
Alcohol and Drug Testing
Truck drivers are routinely tested for alcohol and drug use in accord with federal laws monitored by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Some 30,000 drivers test positive for drug use each year in the U.S. However, there are many ways for truck drivers to cheat these tests and there are probably thousands more drug-using truck drivers on the road each day around the Las Vegas area and across the country.
Alcohol, Marijuana, Cocaine and Methamphetamine Use
The National Transportation Safety Board studied a large set of fatal truck accidents and found that in about one in eight of these accidents, the cause was marijuana use by the truck driver. Another study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, revealed that of the many truck drivers stopped by police for driving recklessly, of those who did not have alcohol in their blood, 45% had marijuana and 25% had cocaine in their blood.
If You’ve Been the Victim of Truck Driver Drug Use
At Bertoldo, Baker, Carter, Smith & Cullen, we represent the victims of all types of truck accidents, including ones caused by truck driver drug use. If you’ve been hurt by a drug-impaired truck driver, contact our Las Vegas truck accident lawyers for more information about your legal rights.