18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer Des Moines IA
An 18 wheeler accident lawyer Des Moines IA residents trust from Johnston Martineau, LLP is well aware of how recklessly truck drivers may operate their hefty vehicles. Truck drivers face a work environment based largely on endurance. They have to frequently travel long hours and drive through hazardous weather conditions such as rain, fog, and snow. Though drivers deal with these challenges, the risks that come with the job come with a valuable pay increase. The longer they can stay on the road, the more time they spend earning money and consequently the more profitable they are.
However, this can lead to serious physical and emotional stresses as they push themselves to stay awake and keep earning. Truck drivers often travel alone and are away from their home and families that they provide for. They endure a lot of pressure to make consistent earnings by driving even while fatigued, so the job can take a toll on some drivers. Hence, these stresses can create a temptation to begin abusing alcohol or other drugs during the drive either to cope with the pain or to stay awake longer.
This temptation can cause dangerous situations on the road and put the lives of the truckers as well as other drivers in danger. Even “buzzed” driving can significantly impair a driver’s reaction times on the road, and can lead to them losing control of the wheel or having an inaccurate sense of distance. Incidents like these are common causes for fatal accidents. One major study examined this problem of truck driver substance abuse on a global scale and found some disturbing trends.
If you or someone you love was recently hit by a truck driver, then you must contact a 18 wheeler accident lawyer Des Moines IA clients can depend on from Johnston Martineau, LLP right away. They will give you the resources and help you need to get you back on the path to recovery. With the legal guidance of a reputable and trusted lawyer, you don’t have to worry about handling the consequences of a truck accident by yourself.
Drug Use Among Commercial Truckers
The study used a two-pronged approach to determine the scale of the substance abuse problem among truckers by taking self-reported surveys about truck driver drug use, as well as administering actual drug tests. Although the statistics for various types of drugs varied from country to country, they were overall quite high.
Thirty percent of truck drivers admitted to using some form of amphetamines, a chemical stimulant, to stay awake while driving. Another twenty percent admitted to marijuana use during their drives, and three percent even self-reported cocaine usage while they were on the job. The study also specifically highlighted alcohol use among American drivers, noting that one out of every eight tests for alcohol came back positive.
As your 18 wheeler accident lawyer Des Moines IA residents rely on may tell you, the most commonly abused drugs fall into two major categories: stimulants and depressants, both of which can be dangerous for different reasons. Stimulants, like cocaine and amphetamines, can increase a person’s alertness. Therefore, they are popular among many drivers who use them to stay awake on long trips.
However, users are also prone to hallucinations, a side effect which can make it dangerous to be on the road and make them see obstacles that aren’t really there. Depressants, like alcohol and marijuana, are the opposite. They act as sedatives, slowing reaction times, and making people more prone to sleep. Using substances while on the road can cause a tragic accident in which nearby drivers become victims. Even if you have a strong understanding of how those particular substances work, they affect every person differently. What’s considered a small amount to you can still produce a dangerous effect on your body.
Given these statistics, there are still steps that drivers can take to help protect themselves from commercial trucking accidents on the road and hurt innocent people. Taking standard defensive driving steps can help reduce your risk of a commercial trucking accident. This includes steps like maintaining a heightened awareness of where large trucks are when you share the road with them, keeping a safe distance from all other vehicles on the road, and ensuring the proper use of signals when turning or changing lanes around commercial trucks.
You should also make sure your truck undergoes frequent maintenance so that your vehicle is in the right working condition. Another common cause of commercial truck accidents is the loss of parts that hit other vehicles surrounding them on the road. Brakes can suddenly malfunction, causing the driver to lose control of the truck. Always be aware of your cargo and often check your load so that objects are not at risk of falling off or hanging off the side of your truck. Even small parts can obscure the vision of you or other drivers on the road.
Other steps include paying attention to what your body needs. Make sure you have the right amount of sleep so that you stay alert throughout your journey. Getting the proper nourishment and staying hydrated can also greatly improve your energy levels. This can help combat the temptation to rely on substances like alcohol as a coping mechanism and lower the risk of drug use.
Regularly taking the time to conduct these preventative measures will significantly reduce the likelihood of causing a truck accident. Taking substances might be especially tempting, but the perceived benefits are never worth the harm that could be inflicted to you or others. Checking in on yourself often and evaluating how you operate your truck is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself.
However, as an 18 wheeler accident lawyer Des Moines IA clients trusts and understands, you could have been taking precautions and still have been the victim in a truck accident. We understand that many things happen out of one’s control. If this has happened to you or a loved one, then call us today for a free consultation. We’ll be ready to assist you with whatever you need for your case.
Have You Been in a Truck Accident?
Unfortunately, even with these additional safety precautions, it is not always possible to protect yourself from everything.
You can still become a victim even if you’re not at fault and have taken the recommended measures. Regardless of how careful you are, you can run into other distracted or less cautious truck drivers. No matter the party at fault, there are options you have to best resolve an untimely truck accident. If that’s the case, you’re not alone.
Our skilled team of professionals can review your claim and help you better understand your options. If you were recently injured in a commercial trucking accident, call an 18 wheeler accident lawyer Des Moines IA residents depend on from Johnston Martineau, LLP to schedule a no-charge initial case evaluation.