Roadcheck data shows 200,000 truck drivers may be under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Are California drivers at risk?
Roadcheck is a joint effort between the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) and the Federal U.S. Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration, Canadian council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and the Mexican Secretariat of Communications and Transportation. Every June, these agencies coordinate to produce the largest targeted commercial vehicle inspection program in the world. During a 72-hour period, 14 trucks a minute are inspected at approximately 1,500 locations across North America. The inspections help remove unsafe drivers and vehicles from the road and provide safety data for the agencies that regulate large trucks on our highways.
The dates of the inspections are announced five months in advance. One would think this would warn drivers and trucking companies to be on their best behavior and follow regulations. Right?
One percent of the drivers stopped during the Roadcheck inspections in 2009 were cited for possession or for being under the influence of drugs and alcohol. If one percent of all commercial truck drivers are using drugs or alcohol, that is almost 100,000 drivers who may be driving under the influence.
Now what if drivers really are on their best behavior? Does that mean half the drivers normally under the influence drove without drugs for a few days? We can’t know, but it seems reasonable to assume that the number could easily be twice as high - perhaps there are 200,000 truck drivers (or more) operating 80,000 pound vehicles on our highways while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These drivers put all our lives at risk!
Attorneys who handle truck accident cases have several reasons for believing these numbers are low estimates.
• Inadequate or no driver background checks by truck companies
• Cheating on drug testing, announcement of drug tests
• Doctor shopping by drivers who are not medically cleared to drive
• Drivers who are not available after an accident
Truck companies know that they are responsible for screening drivers for drug and alcohol problems. If drugs or alcohol use are suspected in an accident, the trucking companies are not above trying to cover up the incident to reduce their own liability.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a California trucking accident, contact the Orange County personal injury attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie. Our truck accident attorneys have a successful track record representing those injured in large truck wrecks. We can deal with aggressive trucking company tactics and get you the compensation you are entitled to. Contact our office at 866-981-5596 to learn more.