According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2020, the most recent year for which there are statistics, there were nearly 33,000 commercial vehicle accidents in the state. Hundreds of people were killed, and thousands were injured, many of them due to accidents caused by impaired drivers. At Springer & Lyle, we want to educate you on what impaired driving means and help you if you have been injured in such an accident.
Causes of Impaired Driving
There are many things that can cause a truck driver to be impaired. Some common examples are:
- Distracted driving. A truck driver can be distracted by using a cell phone for talking or texting, by adjusting the radio, by picking something up off the floor, by eating while driving.
- Drowsy Driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving. A driver who has been awake for 24 hours is the equivalent of a driver having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.10 which is higher than the legal limit in all states of 0.08 BAC.
- Driving While Under the Influence. Nearly 1,000 people are killed in Texas every year in a drunk driving accident. Federal law deems a truck driver is driving while intoxicated with a BAC of 0.04. A driver can be impaired by using alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and even over-the-counter cold medicine.
What Happens When a Truck Driver is Impaired?
Impaired drivers are a danger because they:
- Experience a decline in both their motor and cognitive functioning.
- Reaction time to events around them is slowed down.
- Their judgment is impaired.
Who is Responsible for Damages Caused by an Impaired Truck Driver?
A truck driver who is impaired due to factors attributable only to the driver will certainly be responsible for damages, and in some cases, the trucking company may be responsible as well. There are some other situations where the trucking company who hired the driver may also be directly responsible. Examples include:
- Negligent hiring. The trucking company failed to do an adequate background check and hired a driver who has a history of DUIs, or accidents caused by the driver’s negligence.
- The trucking company fails to conduct routine drug and alcohol screenings.
- The company had unreasonable deadline expectations and ignored federal requirements for drivers to stop and rest and sleep, leading to an accident due to drowsy driving.
Contact Attorneys at Springer & Lyle
The personal injury attorneys at Springer & Lyle will help you get the reasonable compensation you are entitled for your injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other physical damage. Contact us at 940-387-0404 for a free consultation.