The drivers of tractor trailers have a job that is more physical and mentally demanding than those of us who don’t drive trucks for a living are aware of. The physical demands of spending long hours on the road, along with the feelings that accompany being away from their homes and families for weeks at a time can be exhausting. Many truck drivers enjoy their work, but that does not mean that they do not experience feelings of fatigue or exhaustion from time to time. Unfortunately, mixing exhaustion with the task of driving a vehicle that is larger and heavier than the other vehicles on the road can prove dangerous and even deadly.
Many tractor trailer accidents are caused by driver fatigue. Since the potential for fatigue exists whenever a truck driver is working, each truck driver must determine their own plan for preventing fatigue and for addressing it when it does happen. There are rules in place that govern the hours that truck drivers can work, and these “hours of service” regulations can be a good place to start for preventing fatigue. Some drivers find that taking naps during periods of time that they stop for a break helps them to maintain alertness when on the road. Other drivers find that brisk walks or exercise breaks are good for both their physical fitness and for their ability to fight fatigue. Many truck drivers also enjoy plenty of coffee, which can boost alertness.
The fatigue prevention strategies mentioned above are all safe, legal ways for truck drivers to maintain alertness throughout the workday. Unfortunately, some truck drivers use illegal stimulants like methamphetamine (meth) to stay awake. Meth can be found at many truck stops, so drivers do not have to go out of their way to get it. Drivers who use meth to stay awake put their safety and the safety of others at risk, because meth can affect drivers’ depth perception and reaction time in addition to causing hallucinations and vertigo. Many serious and fatal tractor trailer accidents have been caused by drivers who were high on meth. Meth addicts are also at risk for heart attacks and strokes. If a truck driver has a heart attack or a stroke while they are driving, a serious accident is likely to occur.
Drug use among truck drivers is a serious problem, but truck drivers are not monitored as closely for drug use as many people might think. Many employers do use pre-employment drug testing, but once a driver is employed by a company they may be tested randomly. Infrequent and random drug tests can result in meth users avoiding detection for extended periods of time. Company policies vary greatly as to what disciplinary measures are used against drivers who are caught using drugs.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys
If you have been injured in a trucking accident that involved a trucker who was impaired due to methamphetamine, the Mississippi Trucking Accident Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can help you to pursue the recovery that you deserve. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022 to set up a consultation with us.