It’s no more shocking news that each day several traffic collision accidents. But have you ever wondered about the verified statistics? Well, the figures are higher than you could’ve ever imagined. Even with laws and regulations and frequent awareness campaigns to deter accidents caused by alcoholic and drug-based influence, the numbers of these accidents only seem to rise higher.
It’s baffling yet not surprising, given how people trivialize the importance of safe driving. Do you know that someone dies due to an accident caused by a truck driver driving under the influence (DUI) every fifty minutes? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) established this fact in 2016. Since then, the figure has gotten higher—this is disheartening.
To know more about the traffic accidents, here’s a closer look at the numbers.
The Monetary Cost of Traffic Accidents in the United States
The most devastating impact of traffic collision accidents is the loss of lives and the incurring of serious injuries. But besides that, valuable money and properties are also lost due to these same traffic accidents. In 2010, a study carried out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that the United States government spent about USD$44 billion, covering the costs of traffic accidents. Since then, the amount has continued to increase exponentially.
Despite the high amount spent on traffic accidents, there’s still usually much left uncovered or under-covered by the money. That’s one reason why the government and non-governmental organizations have continued to sponsor awareness campaigns to reduce the risk of traffic accidents. Still not covering much, the safest protection for everyone asides using the safety traffic rules is to have a traffic collision personal lawyer. Since trailers and trucks cause the most severe accidents, you should have a semi-trailer truck traffic collision personal injury lawyer.
Alcohol and Truck Drivers
Since 2012 when NHTSA reported alcohol-related deaths and injuries caused by drunk truck drivers to have jumped from the previous year by 8% of 3,921, it has increased even more in recent times.
In 2017, NTHSA reported that traffic-related deaths caused by drunk truck drivers have increased to 17%. Not surprisingly, almost all the drunk drivers tested to conduct the study had more than twice the legal alcohol limit in their blood.
Strangely, truck drivers are usually aware of the severe impact of truck-related accidents, yet they continue driving under the influence. With this action, they endanger their lives and make other road users feel the brunt of their actions.
Truck Driver Alcohol Testing
For curbing the reckless driving under the influence, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) decided that truck drivers needed to be tested for drugs and alcohol before carrying loads. To sign this bill into law, the FMCSA had first to carry out a study to examine the relevance of the proposed legislation. Surprisingly, just about 1% of the tests carried out for the truck drivers came back positive for alcohol and drugs.
This result made it hard to implement the proposed regulation. A question begs to be asked—since 8% of truck drivers are involved in traffic collision accidents, according to an NHTSA study in 2015, 1% of truck drivers tested positive for influence when FMCSA carried out a similar test to sign the influence-testing bill into law?
Truck Driving Under Influence (DUI) Regulations
In 2011, FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) reported that 1.8% of the 3,446 truckers involved in a fatal crash during the year 2010 had more than 0.08% of alcohol in their blood system. It signifies that they had more than the legal limit of alcohol when driving in their system.
Although this percentage can be perceived as mundane, compared to the freakishly high rate of the regular motorist involved in minor and fatal traffic collision accidents, the 1.8% figure is still high. It’s because 9 of 10 truck drivers driving under influence cases are usually fatal and tragic.
Armed with this data, the FMCSA was able to pass a regulation that stated that drivers, particularly truck drivers, are prohibited from consuming alcohol or drugs at least 4 hours before truck driving or while driving truck.
Even though FMCSA is yet to implement a regulation that makes it compulsory to conduct a drug/alcohol test for truck drivers each time before truck operation, that’ll surely be implemented soon. Testing the truckers every time will be more effective for curbing DUI than only conducting the test for them from time to time.
Although steps are being taken every day to curb traffic collision accident cases, particularly fatal ones triggered by DUI, there’s still a long way to go. One can’t say these severe accidents will stop happening immediately, but several concrete measures can be taken to reduce the risk of their occurrences. For a significant reduction to occur, every road user has a responsible role in abiding by road rules and regulations.
Asides aim to stay safe; it’s crucial to have an accident lawyer take care of the legal concerns that ensue if you’re involved in a traffic collision accident. This act will ensure that your legal rights are protected in case of an accident. Additionally, they’ll ensure you receive compensation for your distress due to such an accident.