Federal truck regulations pertaining to drug and alcohol use

As previous posts here have mentioned, semi-trucks that are negligently or recklessly driven can pose a significant threat to other motorists. These truckers can cause their vehicles to swerve into oncoming traffic, blow through a stop light or fail to yield at a crosswalk, for example. The damages suffered in accidents caused by these truckers can be devastating, leaving victims with serious injuries, permanent disabilities and even leading to fatalities. The emotional and financial ramifications can be staggering.

Fortunately, those who are injured in a truck accident may be able to recover compensation if they are able to prove that a trucker’s negligence caused their injuries. One way to do this is to look at federal trucking regulations to see if any were breached. If so, then that evidence can be powerful in presenting an argument for the imposition of liability.

A significant number of trucking regulations deal with alcohol and drug use by truckers. Under these federal regulations, a trucker cannot report for duty or continue to operate his or her truck if he or she has a blood alcohol content of 0.04 percent or higher. While regulations specify that truckers can’t use alcohol while performing “safety-sensitive functions,” they also indicate that a trucker cannot use alcohol within four hours of performing these duties. To better ensure safety, truck companies should subject their employee’s to pre-employment and post-accident drug and alcohol testing. Random testing should also occur throughout a trucker’s employment.

Determining whether a trucker has violated a federal regulation may be tough. However, pertinent records may be used to better determine if any violations have occurred.

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