Residents in the state of Pennsylvania may logically be concerned about the dangers of both drunk driving as well as truck accidents. Each of these on its own can pose significant risks to other drivers and put together, those risks can only increase. Mixing large and heavy commercial vehicles with impaired drivers is a recipe that leaves too many innocent victims injured or even dead every year.
The problems associated with accidents caused by truckers operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol have led the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to begin development on a new database that will be part of an effort to reduce these situations.
What is the database?
The Commercial Carrier Journal outlines that the database is part of what the industry refers to as the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Rule. As part of its implementation, drivers must participate in substance testing prior to being hired for any new driving position. Employers must also fully review driving candidates’ records in the database before finalizing new hires. Other reviews are to be conducted every year thereafter.
All substance test results as well as refusals to participate must be recorded in the database. Additionally, all vehicular convictions for impaired driving offenses will be noted in the database and tracked to specific criteria that must be met before drivers can once again hold commercial driving jobs.
How extensive is the need?
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show how many accident fatalities are attributable to drunk drivers or large truck accidents. Across Pennsylvania, 44 percent of the 1,310 lives lost happened in crashes involving either large trucks or impaired drivers.
In Lancaster County, alcohol or trucks were factors in 61 percent of all vehicular fatalities. Lancaster County also saw more truck accident fatalities than any other county in the state and its number of drunk driving deaths was the fifth highest among all counties.
A LehighValleyLive.com story outlines the details of one such accident in which a drunk truck driver hit another vehicle, killing its driver.
Not just in Pennsylvania
Concerns related to drunk driving and truck crashes are not only in Pennsylvania. Scanning the Lake County News, a story reports on a DUI arrest of a truck driver who hit a person on a bike and KTLA.com tells about another trucker facing felony DUI charges among others after killing another driver and leaving the scene.
Get help immediately
People who are involved in auto accidents should talk to an attorney immediately. Getting help right away is an important step toward receiving the compensation that is deserved.