Indianapolis Drugged Truck Driver Attorneys
Truck drivers are obligated to operate their trucks safely and responsibly. When trucks cause collisions, they can result in serious injuries and fatalities. Truck drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol pose a serious risk to everyone because they have impaired faculties and less control over their vehicles. Unfortunately, drugged truck drivers are an issue. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drugs were involved in 56 percent of serious truck crashes in one recent year.
When you are injured in a truck accident caused by a drugged driver, you deserve justice for their blatant disregard for your safety. The Indianapolis truck accident attorneys of Hankey Marks & Crider have experience handling various cases caused by truck driver negligence. Using our experience, we will fight for the compensation you need for your injuries and losses.
To discuss your legal options during a free and confidential case evaluation with one of our personal injury attorneys, contact us online or by calling us at [phone number].
How Common Is Drugged Truck Driving?
It is not uncommon for truck drivers to use drugs to keep them awake. According to the American Addiction Centers, 27.6 percent of truck drivers who responded to their survey reported consuming drugs, including alcohol, amphetamines, marijuana, and cocaine. Of those drivers, approximately 23 percent reported consuming amphetamines or cocaine, possibly to increase productivity by staying awake longer.
Drug Testing Requirements for Truck Drivers
To reduce drug use among truck drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict regulations governing drug and alcohol testing for commercial drivers. Under the FMCSA, employers must randomly drug test at least 50 percent of their employees in a single calendar year.
In addition to federal laws and regulations, Indiana implements drug testing laws for drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The Indiana State Personnel Department program encompasses testing for the following reasons:
- Reasonable suspicion
When a trucking company hires a driver, they must perform pre-employment drug testing. They must also verify that the applicant didn’t fail a pre-employment drug test for an employer who did not hire them.
Trucking employers must administer random drug tests throughout the calendar year. The employer is responsible for ensuring that employees do not have advance notice of the tests to keep them truly random. Employers should conduct random drug tests through a scientifically valid method, such as through a random number generator that is linked to the employee’s Social Security numbers or payroll identification numbers.
Reasonable Suspicion Test
When there is reasonable suspicion that a driver has consumed drugs or alcohol, they may be subject to a reasonable suspicion drug test. Under Indiana law, reasonable suspicion may be based on the following:
- Direct observation of drug use or possession;
- Symptoms of a driver being under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Abnormal conduct;
- Erratic behavior;
- Criminal investigation into illegal drug possession; or
- Evidence that an employee tampered with their previous drug test.
When a supervisor or manager has reasonable suspicion that a driver is using drugs, they can request and have a reasonable suspicion drug test performed.
A Department of Transportation (DOT) test is required when a driver is issued a citation and when there is a fatality involved. If a post-accident test is required under FMCSA and Indiana law, it should be done within 32 hours of the collision. The purpose of this is to ensure that drugs were not involved in the collision.
Watch for Signs of Drugged Truck Drivers
While the FMCSA requires regular testing, drivers still use drugs. Therefore, it is important to know and recognize signs that a driver is driving under the influence, which include:
- Erratic speed: If a truck driver is speeding up and slowing down or driving way too slowly, it may be a sign that they are under the influence.
- Slow reaction time: When a driver is slow to react to changing traffic conditions, it may be a sign that they are impaired.
- Swerving or drifting: When a driver is having a hard time maintaining their lane or is weaving in and out of traffic, it may indicate that they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If you see these things, it does not necessarily mean that the driver is under the influence of drugs. It could be signs of fatigue or distracted driving. However, if you see these signs, you should be cautious and maintain a safe distance from the truck to avoid a potential accident. Additionally, you should contact the police if you believe a truck driver is driving under the influence.
Holding Drugged Drivers Accountable
To recover compensation in a truck collision case, you must prove that the truck driver or trucking company was negligent. In a collision involving a drugged driver, you can prove negligence by showing the driver was impaired by drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.
When you are in a truck collision, you may not know the driver who hit you was on drugs at the time. However, there are things you can do to see if the driver was on drugs when the collision occurred, including:
- Request the truck driver’s drug test
- Look at the driver’s medical records
- Analyze all witness statements and video camera footage
- Evaluate the driver’s statement
Once you show that a driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be able to recover the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced capacity to earn
- Diminished enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Additionally, if you can show that the trucking company failed to follow drug testing regulations, they could face consequences for their own negligence.
Contact an Experienced Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyer
Being injured in a truck collision can be extremely stressful and overwhelming. Retaining an attorney can ease your stress because an attorney can provide the support and legal guidance you need to get the compensation you deserve. The Indianapolis truck accident attorneys of Hankey Marks & Crider have experience handling cases involving negligent truck drivers.
Using our combined eight decades of experience fighting truck drivers and trucking companies who cause crashes, we can help you. Our attorneys will fight for your best interests. To discuss your legal options during a free and confidential consultation, contact us at (317) 634-8565.