Semitruck drivers must be attentive and responsible if they want to avoid causing traffic crashes. However, research shows that many of them take risks that place you and everyone else on the road in danger. Alcohol and drug use are quite common in commercial trucking, but when truckers abuse substances, it may hinder judgment, reaction time and other areas that may help truckers avoid crashes.
According to the American Addiction Centers, there are several key reasons substance abuse is so common in commercial trucking.
Semitruck drivers often face long, lonely stints on the road, and some use alcohol or drugs due to boredom or loneliness. In other cases, truck drivers turn to specific substances, such as cocaine or amphetamines, because they hope to become more alert and cover more miles at a time.
How often are today’s commercial truckers abusing drugs or alcohol on the job? The results of 36 studies on the subject reveal alarming rates of drug and alcohol abuse in commercial trucking.
Those studies revealed that up 91% of professional truck drivers have admitted to drinking alcohol on the job. They also showed that alcohol abuse was the most common form of substance abuse among commercial truck drivers. Amphetamine use was also quite common, with 82.5% of semitruck drivers acknowledging using them on the job. While far fewer truck drivers admitted to using cocaine on the job, about 8% of them admitted to doing so.