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Drunk-Driving Accidents Involving Semi-Trucks

An 18-wheeler, also called semi-truck, big rig or tractor-trailer, weighs about 80,000 lbs., making it 20-30 times heavier than a passenger car. While this weight can make this type of vehicle incredibly tough in road crashes, the same feature is source of great disadvantage where braking or coming to a full stop is the issue.

Compared to a light pickup or an ordinary passenger car which, at the speed of 65 mph, will require about 316 feet before coming to a full stop, an 18-wheeler will take 525 feet to stop fully. This longer stopping distance and other factors, which make big rigs threats on the road, are the reasons why it is very necessary that truck drivers are fully trained, licensed, not feeling fatigued or sleepy, and totally sober and focused on the road whenever behind the wheel.

While the first three necessities (mentioned above) are never or seldom problems, certainty on truck driver sobriety is still a big question. As shown in a number of studies, many truck drivers have been found intoxicated or high on drugs while driving – a very serious traffic violation due to the high risk of injury they put themselves and, especially, other motorists in.

The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers of passenger cars is 0.08%; for truck drivers, however, the limit is much lower: 0.04%. Semi-truck drivers operating their truck despite a 0.04% BAC can result to DUI, while if caught with a 0.02%BAC, they can be suspended from operating their truck for a total of 24 hours.

The website of law firm Ausband & Dumont emphasizes the importance of truck drivers exercising extreme caution while operating their vehicles to reduce the possibility of an accident. They will never be able to do this, though, if they are high on drugs or intoxicated; they will also be putting many lives in danger and even possibly cause an otherwise preventable incident due to their conscious disregard for the safety of others.

Being a victim of a truck accident due to a drunken truck driver can result to serious or fatal injuries. Victims or their families should never waste time in filing a lawsuit against the liable party to seek justice and the possible compensation the court may deem them worthy to receive.