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How common is substance abuse among truck drivers?

For many motorists across Texas, sharing the road with semi-truck drivers can prove challenging, with the sheer mass of commercial trucks making them difficult to see or maneuver around even under the best of circumstances. However, when the people sitting behind the wheel of these vehicles are also under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the repercussions are too often catastrophic.

According to the American Addiction Centers, trucker substance abuse is a pervasive problem in America, and it is one that can potentially impact everyone on the nation’s roadways. Today’s truckers are turning to drugs or alcohol for a variety of reasons, among them boredom, loneliness and a desire to cover more miles faster. Regardless of their reasoning for using drugs or alcohol on the job, however, doing so can have a substantial and negative impact on performance, potentially compromising everything from vision and alertness to reaction time.

So, just how often are semi-truck drivers using drugs and alcohol while on the clock? In a series of 13 studies assessing truck driver substance abuse habits that took place between 2000 and 2013, about 82.5 percent of those surveyed admitted to using methamphetamines, or other amphetamines, while driving their trucks. Meanwhile, about 8 percent of truckers surveyed reported that they had abused cocaine while at work.

Alcohol abuse was even more problematic and widespread, with as many as 91 percent of commercial truckers admitting to alcohol use while working. These numbers are highly alarming, and they also offer evidence that increased efforts are necessary in order to regulate substance abuse among truck drivers and protect the motoring public.

This information about truck driver substance abuse is educational in nature and does not constitute legal advice.

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