While driving under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol is often listed as a cause of an accident on the roadways, truck drivers operating large commercial trucks can also suffer impairment due to over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. While these drugs may seem harmless, their side effects can cause a driver to make mistakes, leading to avoidable accidents.
If you suffered injuries due to a commercial truck driver abusing OTC medications, learn how a Los Angeles over-the-counter drug use OTC drugs lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and how they may help you build a personal injury case. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800)-794-0444 for a free consultation.
Types of Drugs Used by Truck Drivers
While there are a wide variety of drugs that a truck driver could use, most often, truck drivers use OTC drugs to stay awake and allow them to drive longer distances in order to receive additional compensation for their deliveries. In some cases, truck drivers receive pressure from trucking companies to deliver as many goods as quickly as possible. While there are Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Hours of Service Regulations that require commercial truck drivers receive certain periods of rest, in some cases, truck drivers fail to follow these regulations to get their deliveries and shipments finished sooner. Some of the types of OTC drugs used by truck drivers include the following:
Cough and Cold Medicines
Some cough and cold medicines actually include a drug called dextromethorphan. Taking this drug in large doses can, according to Mayo Clinic, result in side effects and might even reproduce a similar out-of-body feeling such as illegal stimulants. It can also cause drowsiness, numbness, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. If a truck driver attempts to use this medication outside the normal prescription recommendations and for other purposes, they may suffer the inability to operate a large commercial truck with safety, and with clear cognitive thinking.
Some weight-loss products and diet pills contain a stimulant known as ephedrine. This drug actually causes users to stay awake for long periods of time, which is why many truck drivers seek this drug out. Ephedrine can also cause insomnia and jittery feelings, which only later increases fatigue and cloudy thinking, blurred vision, anxiety, and diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
Energy drinks do not technically classify as over-the-counter drugs, but truck drivers use them in the same way that they can easily abuse OTC drugs. There are also OTC drugs that give boosts of energy and are available at gas stations to offer a quick boost of energy to all motorists, including truck drivers. These drinks and OTC energy pills are increasing in popularity among truck drivers attempting to combat fatigue and drive even longer hours. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list multiple ways that energy drinks are oftentimes dangerous or even deadly for users.
Other medications that remain accessible could substantially impair a truck driver’s ability to operate a large commercial truck include pain relievers, antihistamines, sleeping aids, eye medications, some heart medications, and antidepressants.
The federal government attempted to curb truck drivers operating large commercial trucks from operating their vehicles while fatigued by imposing required Hours of Service Regulations. These regulations specifically address exactly how and when truck drivers should rest and how long they may operate and drive a large commercial truck. Without proper and adequate rest, truck drivers may make driving errors due to their diminished cognitive abilities, leading to serious accidents resulting in injuries or even death.
For a free legal consultation with a Over-the-Counter Drug Use OTC Drugs Accidents Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Investigation Into Drug Use and Trucking Accidents
If you suffered injuries or losses as a result of an accident with a large commercial or heavy truck, the truck driver should undergo testing as soon as possible for any alcohol, illegal drugs, and OTC drugs. Drug testing will clearly indicate whether or not the truck driver operated under the influence of any type of drug during the time of the accident, such as dextromethorphan or ephedrine. These tests require a court order, which a Los Angeles over-the-counter drug use OTC drugs lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may help a victim obtain. It is imperative that this order request occurs as quickly as possible to preserve any evidence of substance abuse, either illegal or legal.
Additionally, an investigation into possible OTC drug involvement in a trucking accident could include receipts for medications or testimony of witnesses regarding the truck driver’s consistent and long-term use of using (or abusing) OTC drugs to stay awake while operating a commercial truck. Finally, the trucking company should receive a spoliation letter to preserve all evidence that could relate to the accident, including any previous drug testing results of the truck driver in their personnel file.
Los Angeles Over-the-Counter Drug Use OTC Drugs Accidents Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
A Los Angeles Over-the-Counter Drug Use OTC Drugs Lawyer May Handle Your Case
The preservation of specific documentation and evidence needs to immediately occur following a trucking accident. In some cases, that evidence requires a court order. However, without an official test, it may prove impossible to argue that the truck driver was under the influence of either alcohol, an illegal drug, or an over-the-counter drug that impaired their cognitive ability in such a way that it led to an accident.
Learn how a Los Angeles over-the-counter drug use OTC drugs lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may issue a spoliation letter to preserve this evidence as well as help you understand your legal rights. You have the right to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage resulting from a truck driver’s negligence. Reach out to our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800)-794-0444 for a free consultation.