Thousands of accidents are caused by trucks in Virginia and the rest of the United States every year. In 2016, nearly 4,000 people died as a result of these incidents. One of the leading causes of collisions is fatigued drivers. Due to the large weight of trucks, fatality victims are often drivers and passengers in small vehicles as well as cyclists and pedestrians. Only a small portion of fatalities are truck drivers themselves.
Truck accidents are particularly troublesome on long-haul routes where drivers are expected to travel long distances at a time. Trips that span more than 51 miles account for 65 percent of all accidents. With more than one in every four truck drivers reporting falling asleep behind the wheel at some point, it’s no mystery why so many accidents happen. The solution some drivers are coming up with, however, may be even worse.
According to results from random drug screenings, about 1 in every 200 long-haul truck drivers tested positive for stimulants such as methamphetamine or cocaine. Drivers who use these types of drugs may be able to stay awake longer, but records show that they have a higher accident rate than non-intoxicated drivers. That’s because stimulants can have a negative impact on cognitive and motor functions.
Victims of motor vehicle accidents caused by fatigued truck drivers may be able to get compensation for their medical bills, rehabilitation, lost wages, property damage and pain and suffering. It’s the responsibility of an attorney to carefully evaluate the circumstances of an accident and recommend a viable legal strategy. In many cases, a lawyer may not require a fee unless they are able to obtain compensation for their client.