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How common is substance abuse among truckers?

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2020 | Car Crashes |

For many, the trucking profession proves to be lonely and stressful, and some truck drivers try to combat boredom or stave off loneliness by abusing drugs and alcohol on the job. While abusing substances while driving anything is dangerous, drivers who abuse substances before getting behind massive semi-trucks present even more of a threat to the public. Just how often are today’s semi-truck drivers using drugs or alcohol on the job?

According to the American Addiction Centers, the rates of substance abuse among commercial truckers are alarming.

Truckers and alcohol abuse

A series of 13 studies that took place between 2000 and 2013 revealed troubling information about the high prevalence of alcohol abuse in the trucking industry. As many as 91% of truckers involved in the studies said they had consumed alcohol on the job during their careers, even though doing so dramatically hinders reaction time and overall driving ability.

Truckers and drug abuse

Drug abuse, though slightly less prevalent among truck drivers than alcohol abuse, is also entirely too common. In the series of 13 studies, about 82% of semi-truck drivers admitted to having used amphetamines on the job. Amphetamine abuse is particularly common in the industry because some truckers find that it keeps them awake longer, which allows them to cover more miles within a shorter span. Cocaine abuse, too, is problematic among truckers, although decidedly less so than amphetamine abuse. In those 13 studies concerning trucker substance abuse habits, about 8% of drivers admitted to abusing cocaine at work.

Substance-abusing truck drivers are a threat to you and everyone else on the road. Today’s trucking companies must do more to monitor their drivers and test them for substances if they wish to keep the roadways safe for the public.