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How common is substance abuse among truckers?

Today’s commercial trucks are large and heavy enough to unnerve even the most comfortable drivers, but most motorists have little choice other than to share the road with them. While commercial trucks present inevitable hazards because they can be hard to see or navigate around, they become even more dangerous when the people driving them abuse substances before getting behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, however, the American Addiction Centers report that truckers abusing substances is not new or uncommon. In fact, the tough demands of the job coupled with the lonely nature of it lead many truck drivers to turn to alcohol or drugs, with many of today’s truckers admitting that they do, in fact, abuse substances while on the clock. Just how much of a problem has substance abuse among commercial truckers become?

Truck drivers and alcohol abuse

While it is undeniably dangerous for any motorist to drink too much before getting behind the wheel, it can prove even more so when someone at the controls of a multi-ton vehicle abuses alcohol. Regrettably, however, 91 percent of commercial truckers acknowledge that they have used alcohol while on the clock, increasing their chances of trucking accidents while highlighting just how widespread alcohol abuse has become in the industry.

Truck drivers and drug abuse

While many truckers admit to using alcohol as a method of combatting boredom or loneliness, among other reasons, many also admit to using amphetamines and other drugs. Part of this is likely the result of truckers trying to log more miles or complete grueling schedules without taking out time to sleep. Regardless of their reasoning for doing so, however, more than 82 percent of today’s truckers admit to using amphetamines, while another more than 8 percent acknowledge using cocaine.

While there are still many questions that surround the issue of drug and alcohol abuse among truckers, one thing is clear, and that is that more needs to be done to protect the American public from substance-abusing truck drivers.

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