Truck drivers are in a dangerous profession. They face long hours in the cab of their truck, often on roads and highways with other commuters, making them more prone to accidents. Unfortunately, many truck drivers are taking prescription drugs that can contribute to drowsy driving and increase the risk of an accident.
In this blog, we’ll discuss how medications can alter a trucker’s ability to drive, including what medications can disqualify a truck driver from driving.
Medication Use While Driving
It is essential for all drivers—not just those operating CMVs—to understand how medication can affect driving performance and safety. Different classes of drugs may have different effects on driving performance; stimulants such as amphetamines can increase alertness but also cause aggressive behavior, whereas sedatives such as benzodiazepines can cause drowsiness or confusion. It is also important to note that some over-the-counter drugs, like antihistamines, can cause similar symptoms.
For this reason, it is essential for anyone who is taking medication—whether prescription or over-the-counter—to understand the potential side effects before getting behind the wheel of any vehicle. It is always best practice for drivers to speak with their healthcare provider about any potential risks of taking certain medications while driving. A doctor can provide more specific advice based on individual circumstances and medical needs.
Medications That Can Disqualify Drivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict regulations regarding the types of medications truck drivers may take while operating their vehicles. Any driver taking medication must obtain certification from an approved medical professional that they are fit to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Additionally, any medication taken must not interfere with the driver’s ability to safely operate their vehicle per federal regulations and industry standards.
Certain medications are deemed by the FMCSA as too risky for CMV operation. These include drugs such as:
- Anti-seizure medication used for the prevention of seizures
- Any other habit-forming drugs
The FMCSA also requires all drivers to inform their employers if they are taking any medication that could impair their ability to safely operate their vehicle. Failure to do so could result in severe consequences, including fines and penalties.
Florida Truck Accident Attorneys
Taking certain medications while operating a commercial motor vehicle can put everyone on the road at risk. If you were recently hit by a big rig driver under the influence, be sure to reach out to the Michles & Booth team today. We can help you get the compensation you need to make a full recovery.
Reach us at (800) 848-6168 or visit our website to fill out a consultation request form.