Oklahomans who head out on the road will be keenly aware of the presence of large trucks beside them, in front of them and behind them. These massive vehicles traveling at significant speeds can be intimidating even if its driver is following all the rules of the road. Since truckers are so accustomed to driving and are on the road for extended periods, they may give in to the temptation to drive at excessive speeds, multitask or let their minds wander. This can create a dangerous landscape for them and especially for people with whom they are sharing the road.
Another concern is if the trucker is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The problem of drugged or drunk trucking has been highlighted by a clearinghouse that detects and identifies the number of truckers who tested positive. The statistics begin one week into 2020. From that point, there were almost 8,000 positive such tests. This clearinghouse is touted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as a boon to reducing collisions.
Still, despite its intent and potential success in identifying drivers who got behind the wheel of their truck under the influence, it is also important for drivers who might have been hurt or lost a loved one in a truck accident to understand its significance. The number of registrants to the clearinghouse surpasses 650,000. Its online accessibility lets the FMCSA, truck companies, states and law enforcement recognize when drivers have violated the law for driving under the influence as soon as it happens. This law went into effect in December 2016. The goal is to prevent 900 accidents annually.
Passenger vehicle drivers will have an inherent trust that truckers will be adhering to the rules of the road and be sober. However, as the statistics indicate with so many positive tests, truckers may violate that trust and get behind the wheel after using intoxicating substances. Combined with other potential dangers such as distracted driving, drowsy driving and recklessness, this makes the road a risky place in which accidents can occur.
A truck accident can cause severe injury, lost income, massive medical expenses and a radically changed life. For those who have lost a loved one, the critical nature of understanding what steps must be taken takes on greater urgency. It may be beneficial to understand the law and how to proceed after truck accidents. A legal firm may be of assistance in these circumstances.