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Action to get unsafe truckers off the road often comes too late

Driving a commercial vehicle is a demanding job. Commercial truckers operate enormous, complicated vehicles and often spend long hours and days behind the wheel. While many are able to stay alert and safe on the road, there are some who go to dangerous -- and sometimes illegal -- lengths to keep themselves awake and on-the-job.

For instance, there are truckers who use illegal drugs to stay alert and cope with boredom while they are driving. Driving while under the influence of these substances is a violation of state and federal trucking laws, but unfortunately, any action to penalize drugged commercial drivers often comes too late and in the aftermath of a catastrophic crash.

Recently, for example, a trucker allegedly under the influence of PCP and marijuana was ordered off the road by federal authorities. The order came in the wake of a tragic accident where the trucker crossed over a median and struck another vehicle head-on. Three people were killed in the accident.

Ordering the driver off the road will be crucial in preventing him from causing additional accidents, but unfortunately the action came too late for the victims of the recent tragic crash.

In the event of a serious truck accident, it may come to light that the trucker was under the influence of drugs or otherwise in violation of state or federal trucking laws. In these situations, taking action against that driver will be critical. This could involve orders to shut down and/or legal claims filed by victims of an accident or their family.

In either case, action taken won't be able to undo the damage that has been done. But it can prevent future crashes and, in the case of a legal claim, provide those who have suffered damages with the compensation and closure they deserve.

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