If sharing Alabama’s roadways with commercial trucks makes you uneasy, your fears may be well-warranted. Many studies have shown that truck drivers report high rates of drug and alcohol abuse on the job, even though abusing alcohol or any number of drugs may have devastating effects on driving ability.
According to the American Addiction Centers, substance abuse is prevalent among today’s truck drivers for several reasons. Sometimes, truck drivers turn to alcohol or drugs because they are experiencing boredom or loneliness a result of spending the majority of their time alone on the road. Other times, they admit to doing so because they want to increase alertness to cover more terrain and make more money. How often are truck drivers using drugs or alcohol while on the job?
Truckers and alcohol abuse
An analysis of the results of 36 studies on truck driver habits showed that as many as 91% of semitruck drivers admit to consuming alcohol on the job. Drinking before driving hinders a truck driver’s performance in many ways, making an intoxicated truck driver a serious threat to you and everyone else in his or her path.
Truckers and drug abuse
The analysis of 36 studies also showed that amphetamine use is high among commercial truck drivers. As many as 82.5% of truckers surveyed said they used methamphetamine or other amphetamines while working. Cocaine use, while less common, is also an industry problem, with about 8% of truck drivers surveyed acknowledging using it on the job.
Truckers who abuse methamphetamines, cocaine or other drugs are more prone to taking risks and less likely to exercise sound judgment. Their use of drugs may also cause them to drive fatigued later on, which creates a new set of hazards.