It is possible for a truck driver to be taken into custody or charged with drug offenses without an employer finding out about it. In some cases, Kentucky or any other state that issued a commercial license may not be notified of the charge either. One man renewed his CDL 10 days after admitting to police that he used heroin after being found unconscious in his rig.
Roughly two weeks after doing so, he was in an accident after overdosing on heroin. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, over 40 percent of drivers who were killed in truck accidents and could be tested had illegal drugs in their systems. In addition to being addicted to heroin or other illegal drugs, drivers may also become addicted to Oxycontin or Percocet. Those are generally legal drugs that drivers may initially take to help with legitimate health issues.
Drug testing alone may not be enough to keep potentially dangerous drivers off of the road. Currently, drivers are tested before they are hired, after they return to work and whenever there is a reasonable suspicion that a driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, communication issues between federal and state agencies may play a role in allowing drivers who have drug or alcohol problems to stay on the road.
If impaired or distracted drivers cause truck accidents, injured victims may have the ability to seek compensation. An attorney might use police reports, witness statements and other evidence in an effort to show that negligence was the main cause of the accident. If successful, injured victims may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and lost wages. They may also be entitled to lost earnings if they can’t return to work.