As we have discussed previously on this blog, semi-trucks pose a serious hazard on the roadways when they are driven negligently or recklessly. The federal government has recognized this fact, which is why it has implemented a number of regulations to try to help ensure motorists’ safety. These regulations address hours of service, rest periods, and even cargo securement. Another issue addressed that could prove quite important to those injured in a car accident caused by a trucker is drug and alcohol screening.
Generally speaking, truckers can be subjected to random drug testing. Truckers are placed in a random pool, and they must submit to testing if their name is randomly drawn from that pool. Even those who are off of work, on vacation, or home sick must remain in the pool, meaning that their name can be drawn for testing. If notified that they have been selected for testing, truckers must immediately report for said test.
These truckers may also be subjected to alcohol testing, although certain requirements must be met. Alcohol testing can only be conducted either just prior to, during, or just after that trucker has performed a duty that was safety-sensitive. The federal regulations define a “safety-sensitive duty,” which includes most driving activities.
Why is it important for motorists to at least be familiar with the existence of these testing procedures? Those who are injured in truck accidents will likely want to get to the bottom of the cause of such a wreck. In some instances, drugs or alcohol may have played a key factor. By obtaining these testing records, accident victims may be able to obtain a clearer sense of how, exactly, they were harmed. Then, utilizing this information, these victims may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against both a negligent trucker and his or her employer. Doing so could lead to the recovery of much needed compensation.