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Michael Agruss

Written and Reviewed by Michael Agruss

  • Managing Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer at Mike Agruss Law.
  • Over 20 years of experience in Personal Injury.
  • Over 8000+ consumer rights cases settled.
  • Graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law: Juris Doctor, 2004.

When driving under the influence, a truck operator can have impaired senses that prevent them from reacting to road conditions around them. This is incredibly dangerous and can result in the deaths of many car drivers. Fortunately, only 2.1% of large truck drivers had a blood alcohol concentration level greater than 0.08 grams per deciliter in fatal crashes back in 2012. Compared to 26.3% of car drivers who had alcohol detected in their blood after a deadly crash, only 3.5% of truck drivers were found to have the same. However, this doesn’t reduce the chance that a truck driver can cause a terrible accident due to substance abuse. This can come in many forms. 

Get the advice you need from a truck accident attorney who understands what evidence is necessary to prove your case. After suffering from an awful accident, you deserve compensation for your damages. Contact Agruss Law for a free consultation. 

Truck Accidents That are Caused by Substance Abuse

The truck driver that caused your accident was possibly under the influence of a substance. This can be determined by a drug test with the help of the police on the scene. 

Different Types of Substance Abuse

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration report, 28,445 truck drivers tested for drug abuse were positive in 2020. These were some of the most common drugs they had taken:


While marijuana is a milder drug, it can cause truck drivers to have impaired problem-solving abilities. Marijuana can slow down thinking, reduce memory, and influence mood. In more severe situations, it can induce psychosis and delusional behavior. When on the road, this drug can reduce the truck driver’s ability to react quickly enough to prevent an accident.


This addictive substance is often used to energize drivers who are transporting goods over long distances. It causes a significant increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and restlessness. Body temperature skyrockets, and the driver may experience twitching muscles and tremors. The truck driver will not be in a calm state and focused state when taking this drug and often exhibits erratic behavior.


This drug dramatically impacts behavior, where the truck driver can have anxiety and apprehension. They may have nosebleeds, low or high blood pressure, and insomnia. A side effect of this drug is teeth grinding. This drug can impair the driver’s ability to judge the situation appropriately, as it ruins cognitive functioning. It can also cause dizziness and drowsiness. 


This drug has extreme results and can cause seizures, fainting, and disruption of heartbeat patterns. In addition, drivers that take this drug can suffer from hallucination and become disillusioned and confused while driving. It also causes anxiety and dry mouth, creating additional distractions for the truck driver that prevent them from performing at their highest capacity. 


If the truck driver is under the influence of this substance, they may be suffering from paranoia. This drug causes abnormal and disturbing behavior. The driver may experience reduced motor speed and slowed verbal learning. The driver’s inability to think properly can make them unreliable drivers. Additionally, it causes insomnia, where sleeplessness can cause a driver to pass out at the wheel from sheer exhaustion.

Alcohol Abuse

While not as common, alcohol abuse still happens among truck drivers. The use of alcohol can cause cognitive impairment, such as “goggle vision,” where the truck driver cannot see the road effectively. They may have slowed motor reflexes and cannot pick up when they should stop or slow down. Alcohol causes truck drivers to be reckless, where they may take unnecessary risks such as speeding. The truck driver may also get drowsy while drunk and fall asleep at the wheel. 

How to Check for Substance Abuse

After an accident has happened, your attorney can investigate whether a truck driver was driving while using a substance. Your lawyer can obtain a truck driver’s drug test, review their test results, and gain access to their medical records. They can also get testimonies from witnesses, get statements from the truck driver, and collect traffic camera footage. If the truck driver is found guilty, they’ll be criminally charged. You may be able to receive compensation for punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to victims and serve as a punishment for the plaintiff. These damages typically involve aggressive driving or grossly neglectful behavior. 

Get Help Proving Substance Abuse

When you are suffering from your damages and need help proving that the driver was at fault, you can get help from educated personal injury attorneys. Truck accident lawyers can fight for your right to a full settlement for all of your losses. Contact Mike Agruss Law for a free consultation.

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