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Alcohol Abuse Among Big Rig Drivers Increases Truck Accident Risks

Truck driving is a demanding job. Some big rig drivers turn to alcohol to manage their stress, increasing the risk of truck accidents. Unfortunately, it is other motorists on the road who often suffer the most serious harm as a result. During the month of August, public service campaigns regarding drunk driving hope to raise awareness of the dangers.  

Truck Drivers and Alcohol Abuse

There is nothing inherently wrong with enjoying a few drinks. Alcohol can be a problem when people use it as a way of dealing with their feelings and the pressures they face in life. Once a pattern of alcohol abuse begins, it can easily spill over into your job. For truckers, this can be particularly dangerous. 

According to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study, there is a disturbing prevalence of alcohol abuse among truckers. The stress involved in driving a truck, spending long hours on the road, and being away from home for extended periods are all contributing factors that make truck drivers more likely to abuse alcohol. In surveys, the NIH uncovered the following disturbing patterns: 

  • Roughly 10 percent of truckers admit to daily drinking;
  • Close to 20 percent admit to binge drinking at some point while on the road;
  • Nearly 50 percent admit to drinking while behind the wheel. 

Overindulging in alcohol endangers truckers and other motorists on the road. Even if a trucker is not drinking and driving, being hungover dulls their reflexes and increases their risks of being distracted or falling asleep behind the wheel. 

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Throughout the month of August, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is partnering with local police departments in promoting the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over public safety campaign. The goal is to raise awareness while increasing law enforcement efforts in apprehending drunk drivers. 

Truck accidents are one of the biggest dangers on the road and truck drivers are among those most likely to engage in drinking and driving. Even having one or two drinks can have the following impacts on their driving abilities: 

  • Decreased focus, making them less aware of what is going on with their truck and around them on the road;
  • Lack of coordination, making it harder to steer, apply the brake, and perform other driving tasks as required;
  • Slower response times, impacting their ability to respond to sudden changes in road, traffic, or weather conditions. 
  • Reduced visibility, which makes them less likely to see surrounding vehicles and is particularly dangerous at night;
  • Impaired judgment, making them more likely to engage in other dangerous driving behaviors.  

Let Us Help You Today

When truck accidents happen as a result of drunk driving, both the truck driver and the company they work for can be held accountable. At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., we provide the aggressive legal representation truck accident victims need to get the compensation they deserve. To request a consultation, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland truck accident attorneys online today.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.