Many West Virginian drivers who regularly share the roads with large trucks feel intimidated simply because of the size and weight of the vehicles. They may have no idea of the real danger surrounding them each day.

In fact, in recent years, it has become evident that a large percentage of truck drivers use drugs and alcohol behind the wheel. This makes everyone on the road vulnerable to the potentially catastrophic injuries truck accidents may cause.

How are truck drivers monitored?

To combat this problem, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) established a Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse rule. This rule requires any employers under FMCSA regulations to report drug and alcohol violations by truckers. That information then goes into a database that can be accessed by potential employers when doing pre-employment screenings. Additionally, law enforcement will have access to the information the FMCSA collects.

A recent compilation of the data from the first six months since the establishment of the clearinghouse rule indicates that drugs, not alcohol, seem to be the substance of choice for truckers who violate the law. Over 10,000 truckers tested positive for marijuana, followed by over 3,000 who had cocaine in their systems. Amphetamines and methamphetamines followed, and hundreds more tested positive for prescription narcotics.

Truck accidents can cause serious injury

Truck drivers who do not take seriously the safety of other travelers may instead take reckless chances. This includes using banned substances that can affect their ability to safely operate a large commercial vehicle.

Those who suffer painful injuries or the loss of loved ones in truck accidents have multiple factors to consider when seeking the compensation they deserve. Many find that having an experienced West Virginia attorney on their side helps them meet their goals.