Despite a decrease in fatal truck accidents caused by drunk driving, those who have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident know how dangerous such accidents can be. According to the findings of recent studies funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, deaths in drunk driving collisions involving trucks have decreased dramatically. Despite this decline, alcohol-impaired drivers killed 11,773 people in 2008, and 4,229 people were killed in major truck crashes.
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These figures represent more than individual accidents; they also represent the much larger number of loved ones and family members who are no longer able to share their lost family member’s company and companionship. Drunk driving, particularly in large vehicles, has permanent and negative consequences. Large vehicles, such as 18-wheelers and dump trucks, generate so much force as a result of their scale that the consequences of any accident are much more serious. A fully loaded 18-wheeler weighs around 16 times as much as a standard passenger car. This increased mass has the potential to cause substantial property damage and significantly increase the likelihood of any accident.
Because of the greater potential for harm that a truck can cause, the effects of drunk driving are magnified. Although in a vehicle that can respond quickly to a dangerous situation, an impaired driver’s control is severely limited. Trucks, on the other hand, do not always encourage even the most alert driver to avoid collisions. As a result, it is critical that a truck driver maintains total control of his or her vehicle and is capable of responding correctly and quickly to a potentially dangerous situation. A intoxicated driver is clearly incapable of carrying out those responsibilities in a responsible manner. Over the course of their journey, a drunk truck driver is likely to endanger hundreds of people.