When you go to work, you may have what feels like a long commute. You may dread sitting in traffic or enjoy catching up on podcasts while you drive, but for truck drivers, their entire job is the commute. The idea of having to stay behind the wheel for hours upon hours day after day may not seem ideal to you, and even though many truckers appreciate their work, it can certainly take a toll.
Unfortunately, the toll that the truck driving industry can take doesn’t just apply to the drivers themselves. You and many others on the road are at constant risk of an accident if one of these truck drivers makes a mistake, which could include driving while impaired.
Is impairment among truckers prevalent?
Life on the road can lead to feelings of loneliness, stress, depression and other things that can put drivers on edge. Truckers can also feel pushed to their limits and experience fatigue due to trying to meet their deadlines and make pickups and deliveries at the demands of their employers. In some cases, these feelings and pressures can cause truck drivers to turn toward alcohol and drugs.
According to reports, some truck drivers use amphetamines and cocaine in an effort to stay awake while driving long distances. However, while these substances are considered stimulants, they can impair a driver’s ability to operate a truck properly and safely. Amphetamines can lead to hallucinations, increased feelings of irritation, high blood pressure and a dependence on the substances. Any of these issues could negatively affect a person’s ability to drive safely.
Younger truckers are more at risk
In some cases, truck driver assignments can have them taking long, difficult journeys and can have them traveling overnight. Because trucking companies often hold to the idea that younger drivers can handle more difficult routes and overnight driving better than older drivers, younger truckers often receive these assignments. Regrettably, these difficult assignments can take their toll on the less experienced drivers who may be more likely to turn to drugs in efforts to stay awake and take other risks to prove themselves to their employers.
Impairment, fatigue, distraction and many other issues could result in a truck driver causing an accident that leaves you seriously injured. If so, you may have reason to take legal action in efforts to obtain compensation for damages permitted under South Carolina law. Gaining information on your options and how you can hold the liable parties accountable may help you in such a situation.