Truck drivers have a demanding job. Spending long hours on the road, being away from their families, the rigors of operating a big rig, and loading or unloading cargo can all take a heavy toll on their health. Prescription and over the counter medications they take can help to alleviate their symptoms, but can also have serious side effects. Drowsiness and other impairments they experience as a result increase the risk of truck accidents in Portland.
Drowsy and Impaired Driving Due to Medications Increase Truck Accident Risks
Drowsy driving and impaired driving are common problems on the roads. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), they are a leading contributing factor in truck accidents, which often leave other motorists suffering serious and potentially life-threatening injuries. Medications the driver is taking are often to blame.
Operating a semi-truck, tractor-trailer, or other big rig takes a great deal of physical strength and endurance, particularly when spending long days out on the road. As a result, truckers often suffer from the following:
- Chronic headaches and sinus problems due to inhaling diesel fuel;
- Insomnia and other sleep disorders;
- High blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease;
- Overuse injuries involved the muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Medications taken for these conditions can provide some relief, but they can also put truck drivers and motorists they encounter on the roads at risk.
Medications That Impact Driving Abilities
Prevention.com warns that drowsiness is a frequent side effect of both prescription and over the counter medications commonly used in treating the above health conditions. When taken during a trip, these can cause serious impairments for truck drivers. In addition to increasing the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel, symptoms they may experience include:
- Vision disturbances, including watery eyes, difficulty focusing, and impaired depth perception;
- Reduced coordination, making it harder to turn the steering wheel, engage the shift, apply the brakes, or complete other tasks required when driving a truck;
- Slower reflexes, making them less likely to respond appropriately to sudden changes in weather and traffic conditions or other unexpected situations;
- Decreased judgment, making them more likely to engage in speeding and other reckless driving behaviors;
- Increased risk of distraction, which generally makes them slower to respond and increases truck accident risks.
Let Us Help You Today
Serious driving impairments can be caused by both prescription and over the counter medications. When a truck accident occurs as a result and leaves you suffering potentially serious personal injuries, both the truck driver and the company they work for can be held accountable.
These companies typically have teams of attorneys working on their side, ready to defend them against claims. To protect yourself, get our legal team at the Johnston Law Firm P.C. on yours. We provide the trusted guidance and professional legal representation you need to get compensation for truck accident injuries. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland truck accident attorneys online and request a consultation today.