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How common is substance abuse among truck drivers?

When truckers resort to alcohol or drug abuse while sitting behind the wheel, they endanger you and everyone else on the road, and when cars and commercial trucks collide, the car typically winds up in second place. 

In some cases, per the American Addiction Centers, truckers abuse alcohol and drugs can often be the result of boredom; spending long periods alone on the road. Others use certain substances, such as amphetamines, in an attempt to improve job performance or stay awake to finish a run on time. Regardless of a trucker’s reason for turning to drugs, doing so often has devastating consequences.

The prevalence of truck driver substance abuse

So, just how many truck drivers out there are turning to drugs or alcohol during work hours? A series of 36 different studies revealed that alcohol is the most commonly abused substance among truck drivers, with about 90 percent of those involved in the studies admitting to abusing it at work. Truck drivers who drink and drive pose a considerable threat to the general public, as doing so can lead to issues with judgment, concentration, vision and more.

Amphetamine use by truckers was not far behind with 82.5 percent of truck drivers surveyed admitting to using amphetamines at some point while on the road. While amphetamines can stimulate drivers for a certain period, allowing them to stay awake longer, they wear off over time, which can lead truckers to drive drowsy and potentially fall asleep behind the wheel.

While trucking is an undeniably hard profession that can place a considerable strain on its drivers, truckers and trucking companies have a duty to make the nation’s roadways as safe as they can. Too often, trucker substance abuse has catastrophic results, and it is an issue deserving of more attention than it gets.

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