A 44 year-old large commercial vehicle driver has been criminally charged with driving under the influence of drugs, as well as, additional charges stemming from the driver’s blatant erratic driving Friday evening. According to a news article posted on MassLive.com, after a motorist on the interstate highway called local authorities to report a large commercial vehicle weaving in and out of traffic and almost side-swiping a passenger vehicle, police pulled over the tractor-trailer.
Our Chicago truck accident attorneys learned that during the traffic stop, authorities discovered a strong odor of marijuana from inside the trailer’s cab. Subsequently, officers used a drug-sniffing dog that discovered 52 grams of marijuana in the truck’s sleep compartment. The truck driver has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs, possession of marijuana, as well as, reckless endangerment of a teenage passenger – his 14 year –old relative who was traveling with the driver. The commercial vehicle driver will come before the court May 1 to answer to his charges.
Any Chicago truck accident lawyer will tell you that marijuana use by drivers of large commercial vehicles can pose a substantial threat to driving ability, as well as, the safety of motorists sharing the roadway. Marijuana is an illegal substance that directly impairs a truck driver’s central nervous system. Impairment of one’s central nervous system can cause detrimental side effects such as:
– Slowed reaction time – Temporary memory loss – Difficulty concentrating
The above mentioned side effects can ultimately hinder a truck driver’s ability to properly control his/her vehicle and can often result in a semi truck accident resulting in property damage, personal injury, and even premature death.
The United States Department of Transportation recently disclosed that federal random drug tests reveal that less than 2% of truck drivers test positive for marijuana. However, additional studies that have been conducted thereafter have shown an increasing amount of semi truck driver marijuana use. Statistics provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed that 15% of truck drivers tested positive for marijuana, while a study conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board found that 12.5% of all fatal large commercial vehicle accidents involved the use of marijuana.
Having expertly handled a devastating semi truck accident involving truck driver use of marijuana, our Chicago trucking accident attorneys maintain extensive knowledge when litigating these types of life-altering accidents. Recently, our attorneys obtained a $6.5 million settlement on behalf of the family of a 32 year-old Illinois woman who was killed when a semi truck rear-ended her family’s vehicle. The woman’s husband, as well as, her son both sustained significant personal injury in the collision caused by a negligent semi truck driver who was operating an overloaded semi tractor-trailer, as well as, under the influence of marijuana.