Too Often Truckers Are Driving While Impaired
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) October 18, 2012 – Many big rig accidents are the result of the trucker driving while impaired. The fatality statistics are frightening.
“Many states have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to truckers hauling large loads on America’s highways. However, whether there is a policy in place or not, it seems there are more and more truckers who ignore it, and hit the road while drunk,” remarked Brooks Schuelke, an Austin personal injury lawyer with Perlmutter & Schuelke, L.L.P. “Picking up the pieces from a wreck with a semi-truck is devastating, as many of the victims are either seriously injured for life, or dead.”
Figures revealed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the year 2010, indicate that roughly 2 percent of all fatalities involving a semi and another vehicle were the result of the trucker having a blood alcohol content (BAC) between 0.08 percent and 0.14 percent. Further analysis of those figures also shows that the drivers over the limit were more than “twice” over the legal limit, with half of those involved in a crash blowing levels of higher than 0.15 percent.
“It’s hard to guess why some truckers seem to have a penchant to drive while under the influence, but it is definitely a trend law enforcement wants to stop in its tracks. The numbers speak for themselves, with the NHTSA reporting over 10,228 drunk driving fatalities for 2010, with 70 percent of them involving a driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.15 percent or higher,” Schuelke stated. “However, shockingly, the most common BAC was 0.18 percent.”
Even though the police in many states are stepping up enforcement, the most glaring question is what to do about the increase in truckers driving while impaired. While education may be the most obvious route, it begs the question that if the education already out there about drinking and driving is not doing the job it is intended to do, just what else can be done?
“It’s a tough question, and one each state will have to deal with when it comes to enforcement. Of course, this should not mean the trucking industry sticking its head in the sand over the issue either. They too have to step up and take some action,” added Schuelke.
The bottom line in wrecks involving a drunken trucker is that negligence is present; the negligence to drink in the first place, drink to excess, then have the temerity to drive while inebriated. Someone needs to hold them responsible for their actions that lead to seriously injuring, maiming or killing someone who would still otherwise be alive.
Perlmutter & Schuelke, LLP
206 East 9th Street, Ste. 1511
Austin, TX 78701
Call (512) 476-4944
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