Anyone who uses drugs or alcohol before driving endangers all other drivers and passengers on the road. But when semi-truck drivers do the same, they present even more of a threat to the public. Unfortunately, substance abuse is quite common in commercial trucking, even though drinking or using drugs has the potential to substantially impact a truck driver’s performance and judgment.
According to the American Addiction Centers, younger truck drivers are more likely to engage in substance abuse on the job than their older colleagues.
Statistics surrounding amphetamine, cocaine use
Abusing some types of substances, such as cocaine or amphetamines, is also more common among younger truck drivers. Many of them lack the experience and industry knowledge that older truckers often have, which may make them more prone to taking risks. They are also often more driven to make money than older drivers, and this may also lead them to take risks that they believe may help them finish a job faster.
How often are truckers turning to amphetamines or cocaine? Statistics show that about 82.5% of commercial truckers surveyed over a 13-year span admitted to using amphetamines, among them methamphetamine, while driving their trucks. Another 8% acknowledged using cocaine under the same circumstances.
Statistics surrounding alcohol abuse
While commercial truckers admit to abusing substances at alarming rates, their admitted alcohol abuse is even worse. In a series of 36 studies on trucker habits, up to 91% of those involved said they had consumed alcohol while on the job.
Using amphetamines, cocaine or alcohol on the job may have dramatic impacts on judgment and driving ability. When a trucker’s negligence causes injuries or road deaths, the truck driver, the trucking company or both may be responsible.