Many motorists feel uneasy when forced to share the road with large trucks, and if you are among them, you should know that your concerns have merit. While commercial trucks create a threat to you because of their size, the fact that many of the people driving them are also under the influence of drugs or alcohol makes them even more of a danger.
According to the American Addiction Centers, alcohol and drug use are both common in commercial trucking, with large percentages of truck drivers admitting to abusing drugs and alcohol at work.
Risks associated with alcohol and drug abuse in trucking
Alcohol has the potential to impact a trucker’s judgment, reaction time and degree of alertness. It may also slow reflexes and affect a trucker’s vision, and this is particularly true at night. Alcohol may also impact a truck drivers’ ability to respond well to emergency situations, so truckers who drink on the job threaten you and everyone else in their path.
Drug use may also have a major impact on a trucker’s performance. The use of amphetamines, for example, may impact a driver by making him or her feel invincible, which in turn may lead to unnecessary risk-taking. It may also increase alertness for a brief period only to lead to a “crash” later on. When this happens, drowsy driving may take place, which presents its own set of hazards.
The prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse in trucking
How often are truckers using alcohol or drugs while on the clock? In a series of 36 separate studies over a recent 13-year stretch, about 90% of truckers acknowledged having consumed alcohol on the job. Another 82.5% of them admitted to using amphetamines while at the wheel.