Oklahoma Impaired Trucking Accidents
When people get behind the wheel of their car under the influence, they are putting their own lives (as well as those of everyone else around them) in grave danger.
They jeopardize the lives of innocent people, moms and dads, children, and anyone else on the road. Drunk drivers indiscriminately risk the safety of their communities.We may be able to sympathize with those who make an isolated mistake by driving while impaired once or twice. However it is hard to understand how anyone drunk attempts to operate a commercial vehicle.
At Dodd & Henry, our experienced trucking accident lawyers are here to help those who have been seriously injured in collisions with large commercial vehicles and semi-trucks. Call or visit us online today to schedule a case evaluation free of charge.
The Problem of Drunk Trucking
Oklahoma roads navigate tens of thousands of large tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles transporting goods back and forth through our state. The vast majority of truck drivers are professionals with training and skill and a true sense of safety. They would never think of operating a big rig with even a drop of alcohol or illegal substances in their systems. But there are those reckless and dangerous operators who disregard human life by consuming alcohol before driving. This is a real problem, as these drivers are at a much greater risk of killing someone through their actions.
Drunk Driving Laws for CDL Drivers
Obviously, drinking and driving is illegal for all drivers in Oklahoma – especially truck drivers. Under nationwide regulations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict rules for disqualifying commercial drivers. A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of just 0.04 percent renders a CDL driver above the legal limit to operate. A single alcoholic beverage is enough to render a truck driver ineligible to drive. But it’s not just alcohol.
Other Substances that Make a Truck Driver Impaired
It’s rare to find a truck driver truly intoxicated by alcohol while driving on the road. When it does happen, it’s generally the end of the driver’s career. But there are other substances that are often misunderstood and frequently abused by commercial drivers. These include:
- Prescription Medications – Truck drivers, like all of us, may have health conditions that require medication. Heart medications, anxiety or depression medications, and pills to help with blood pressure can all have major side effects. These reactions can make drivers dangerous while on those medications. Some medications may lead to drowsiness, fatigue, irritability, blurred vision, or even confusion.
- Sleep Drugs – Truck drivers often struggle with weight loss, given the sedentary nature of the job. This can have other implications, like sleep apnea and insomnia. Some truck drivers resort to using sleeping pills and other medications to help them get rest. These medications may have lasting effects for hours after the driver awakes and make them unsafe to operate a vehicle.
- Over-the-Counter Drugs – Just because something is not obtained from a prescription does not mean it is safe for use while driving a commercial vehicle. Many herbal supplements and over-the-counter (OTC) pills and so-called “dietary supplements” may have unintended side effects, like sleep disturbances, restlessness, and even lead to aggressive behaviors.
What to do if Injured by an Impaired Truck Driver
If you or a loved one are seriously hurt by a drunk or impaired truck driver in Oklahoma, call Dodd & Henry today to speak with a trucking accident lawyer about your case.