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Drug testing laws seek to lower Tennessee truck accidents

As has been discussed on this blog many times before, semi-trucks can be extremely dangerous to other Tennessee motorists. A negligent Tennessee trucker who makes even a small mistake can cause a destructive wreck that leaves not only cars destroyed, but lives as well. Truck accident victims may be left with brain damage, permanent disability, extensive pain and suffering and significant financial loss. Some families even lose their loved ones to these crashes. But, what is being done to prevent them from occurring?

One federal regulation that seeks to keep motorists safe from dangerous truckers is mandatory drug testing for certain employees, prior to employment. Before a trucker performs any safety-sensitive duties for an employer, he or she must be subjected to controlled substance testing. An employer is prohibited from allowing a driver to enter into employment or using that driver without a negative test result.

Certain exceptions apply, though, including if a driver has already been part of a testing program and was tested within a relatively close period of time. Truckers who cause accidents are also subjected to drug and alcohol testing, which may be discussed in another post.

It is difficult to gauge how effective testing prior to employment is in the context of accident prevention. However, if a drunk or drugged trucker causes an injurious accident and that trucker's employer failed to comply with federal testing regulations, then it may be easier to hold the trucker and their employer liable.

Filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit can be stressful. Those seeking compensation may feel overwhelmed and scared for their future. Yet, these victims and their families can find competent assistance in the form of a Tennessee personal injury attorney.

Source: FMCSA.DOT.gov, "Part 382," accessed on Aug. 28, 2015

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