The opiate epidemic continues to make news all over the country, as more and more people are waking up the realization that the drug companies likely put profits ahead of safety by pushing drugs known to be highly addicting. The fallout of the epidemic is stressing local and national healthcare, as more and more people seek treatment for their dependency and for the emergent effects of their addictions.
One insidious aspect of this addition is the number of unsafe drivers on the road because of opiate addiction. With hundreds of thousands of addicts getting behind the wheel every day, millions of people are at risk of injury. And though this is dangerous in all circumstances, it is particularly dangerous when truck drivers or other pilots of large vehicles are addicted to these drugs.
Opiates have a number of dangerous effects that can make driving risky, including drowsiness and impaired judgment. Drowsiness behind the wheel is already a problem for many long-haul truckers, who rack up hundreds of thousands of miles a year on limited rest and sleep.
Impaired judgment can be just as problematic for semi drivers. Because careful driving is the key to safety, being able to make correct judgment calls prevents accidents. Even the poor judgment of speeding or driving aggressively can result in fatal wrecks. Opiates can also impair reaction times, which when combined with speeding or aggressive driving can be catastrophic.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a truck accident, ensuring the truck driver is tested for legal and illegal medications is a must. Though opiates are dangerous to drivers, other medications (including some over-the-counter products) can pose many of the same risks. Please consider consulting with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process of holding the driver accountable for their actions.