Commercial truck drivers report high rates of substance abuse

Seeing a semitruck in your rearview mirror when navigating Louisiana’s roadways may make you uneasy, and you would be wise to exercise caution when traveling near them. Your chances of experiencing an injury or fatality in a truck crash are high due to the truck’s size and weight. However, the fact that many truck drivers abuse drugs and alcohol compounds the risks you face on the road.

According to the American Addiction Centers, truck drivers admit to deeply concerning rates of alcohol and drug abuse on the job. There are several reasons truckers are prone to abusing substances, among them loneliness, boredom and a desire to cover more terrain within a single shift. When they use drugs or alcohol while sitting behind the wheel of a semitruck, though, they become a threat to you and everyone else who crosses their path.

Alcohol abuse in trucking

Alcohol abuse impacts driving ability in many ways. It may hinder reaction time, judgment and alertness, for example. It may also make a truck driver feel invincible, which may lead to him or her taking dangerous risks. An analysis of 36 studies that took place between 2000 and 2013 showed that about 90% of semitruck drivers acknowledge drinking alcohol on the job.

Drug abuse in trucking

Drug abuse, and in particular, amphetamine abuse, is also prevalent in commercial trucking. That same series of 36 studies showed that as many as 82.5% of truck drivers have abused amphetamines during their shifts. Though less frequent, truckers abusing cocaine is also an issue, with more than 8% of them saying they have done so during work hours.