In December, a tractor trailer crossed over the center line on Route 176 in McHenry and hit six vehicles. Following the accident, a variety of illegal drugs were discovered during a search of the tractor cab. Prosecutors are now considering upgrading the criminal charges against the truck driver.
The accident resulted in one fatality.
Under Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations, where there is an accident-producing injury, truck drivers are subject to post-accident drug and alcohol testing. Additionally, many carriers have pre-employment and ongoing drug and alcohol testing programs.
Evidence that a driver was impaired by drugs or alcohol at the time of a crash is obviously powerful evidence of the negligence of the driver. This employer would also be held liable for the negligence of its driver.
Continuing to employ a driver who has positive drug and alcohol screens can also serve as a separate basis for liability for the employer.