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How common is substance abuse among truck drivers?

Riding alongside commercial truck drivers is an inevitable part of life for most New York motorists, but if sharing the road with these massive and heavy vehicles makes you uneasy, you are not alone. Additionally, the results of numerous studies indicate that you have good reason to fear sharing the road with commercial truckers, because an alarming percentage of them acknowledge using drugs and alcohol on the job.

According to the American Addiction Centers, there are a number of factors at play that can make drug and alcohol abuse among truck drivers particularly common. In addition to living solitary lifestyles that often lead to loneliness, truck drivers often face long days and nights, rough driving conditions, tight timelines and other stresses that can make them more prone to drunk or drugged driving. So, just how often are today’s truck drivers turning to alcohol and drugs?

While the results of a series of 36 studies conducted over 13 years suggest that both drug and alcohol use are problematic among semi-truck drivers, alcohol abuse is especially prevalent. About 90% of respondents in those 36 studies attested that they had, at some point, drank on the job, and the percentage of truckers who acknowledged abusing amphetamines at work was not much lower. About 82% of truckers involved in those studies reported using methamphetamine or similar amphetamines while at work, and more than 8% said they had, at some point, used cocaine while on the clock.

It is no secret that using drugs or alcohol and driving do not mix, and this is especially true when the people abusing substances are sitting behind the wheel of what might be multi-ton vehicles. A large percentage of truckers continue to abuse substances on the job, however, despite how well documented the dangers are.

This copy is informational in nature and is not meant to serve as legal advice.

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