Numerous truck-related accidents occur across our country each and every day. These truck crashes are caused by a number of factors, including driver aggression, distraction and tailgating. The injuries sustained in a truck-related accident are often far more severe than injuries sustained in an ordinary car-on-car collision. This is due in large measure to the size and sheer weight of large commercial trucks.
Latasha Allen suffered catastrophic injuries when her smart car was dragged beneath the underbelly of an 18-wheeler truck that had unsafely changed lanes. Allen was driving along Highway 59 North in Porter, Texas on January 4, 2014, when suddenly an 18-wheeler Kroger truck switched lanes. The truck dragged Allen’s small vehicle along the center concrete median, completely decimating the back end of her vehicle.
Allen was lucky to have survived the trucking accident. Now, she is filing a lawsuit against the truck driving and Kroger, the trucking company, alleging more than ordinary negligence. According to Allen’s lawsuit, the truck driver may very well have been under the influence of Vicodin at the time of the crash. Vicodin is a highly-addictive narcotic that is proven to slow reaction time and increase the risk of a motor vehicle crash. For this reason, most doctors suggest that patients refrain from operating heavy machinery while under the drug’s influence. According to KHOU News, the truck driver had been prescribed 1300 Vicodin pills over the prior year and he may have been addicted to them. This, of course, leads to an inference that he may have been under the influence of Vicodin the morning of the crash.
According to Allen’s lawsuit, Kroger’s prescription drug policy is “don’t ask, don’t tell.” By law, trucking companies are not required to test drivers for prescription drugs. Although truck drivers may be subject to random drug testing, those drug tests only test for things like cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and PCP. Vicodin would not come up on a valid drug test. This is especially dangerous as our country has seen a spike in prescription drug abuse. Vicodin and other painkillers are regularly overprescribed, and are often abused by patients who quickly become addicted. Allen hopes her litigation will spark concern amongst legislators, and prompt laws that will curb driving while on prescription drugs, and hold drivers and companies liable for the injuries caused while on pills.