There is a growing body of scientific evidence which demonstrates drugged driving to be a leading cause of traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities. It’s no secret that the effects of prescription or illegal drugs on the body can impact motor skills, balance and coordination, perception, attention, reaction time, and judgment. Even small amounts of some drugs can have a measurable effect on driving ability.
One NHTSA study found that in 2009, 18 percent of fatally injured drivers tested positive for at least one illicit, prescription, or over-the-counter drug. In a national survey, drugs were present more than 7 times as frequently as alcohol among weekend nighttime drivers in the U.S., with 16% testing positive for drugs, compared to 2% testing at or above the legal limit for alcohol.
Commercial truck drivers are certainly not immune to the statistics. In fact, Georgia-licensed truck driver Robert Lee Turner has come under fire by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently (FMCSA) for drugged driving.
The agency has ordered Turner not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce. He was served the federal order on March 25, 2015.
“Commercial drivers should have no doubt that we will vigorously enforce all federal safety regulations to the fullest extent possible by law,” said FMCSA Chief Counsel Scott Darling. “FMCSA is committed to raising the bar for commercial vehicle safety, and we will remain vigilant in removing unsafe truck and bus drivers from our roadways.”
According to WTOC-TV, Corporal William Solomon, a Georgia Ports Authority police officer, was severely injured while coordinating routine traffic operations on a Garden City Terminal.
The Georgia Highway Patrol stated Solomon was hit by a tractor trailer and the driver of the truck, 63-year-old Turner, was arrested and charged with DUI. He was also charged with operating a vehicle without a tag. Turner was eventually arrested and transported to the Chatham County Jail and held on a $4,600 bond.
FMCSA stated that in a post-accident controlled substances test, Turner tested positive for cocaine.
Bottom line, nothing good ever comes from abusing legal or illegal drugs—especially behind the wheel. Turner and other drivers like him have proven that time and time again. Drugged driving can quickly change the user’s life and victim’s life forever—and never in a good way.
The truck accident attorneys at EJ Leizerman & Associates applaud the FMCSA’s move to shut Turner down and prevent him from further endangering other lives due to his poor choices in life. The officer he reportedly injured will never be the same—and it’s unfortunate because this all could have been prevented by Turner simply driving “clean.”
If you or someone you know have been injured by a commercial truck, call us today to learn how we possibly can help with your case. Consultations are free. You can reach us at 1-800-628-4500.