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Drug, Alcohol Abuse Common Among Commercial Truck Drivers

Cranwell & Moore P.L.C. Feb. 19, 2019

For most drivers across Virginia, encountering commercial trucks is a common occurrence, but when cars and semi-trucks get into wrecks, it is often the people in the smaller vehicles who suffer the most. For this reason, it is imperative that the professionals driving those large, heavy trucks exercise extreme care while doing so, but regrettably, this is often not the case. Instead, commercial truck drivers are turning to drugs and alcohol at distressing rates, which can dramatically impact their driving ability. At Cranwell & Moore, P.L.C., we understand that truck driver recklessness often has catastrophic consequences, and we have assisted many people who suffered an injury or lost a loved one because of trucker negligence seek recourse.

Per the American Addiction Centers, substance abuse is a common and widespread problem in commercial trucking, and there are several different factors that likely contribute to the high incidence of substance abuse in the industry. In some cases, truck drivers may be more likely to abuse drugs, or certain kinds of drugs, because they believe that doing so might improve their performance.

Amphetamines, for example, may increase a driver’s alertness for a certain amount of time, and some truck drivers abuse amphetamines with the hope that doing so will help them finish routes faster. In a series of dozens of studies conducted over a 13-year period, about 82 percent of truck drivers involved said that they had used amphetamines at some point or another while driving their trucks.

Other times, semi-truck drivers may use drugs or alcohol because they are lonely or simply bored. The truck driving profession generally involves long, solitary shifts on the road, and this limited interaction with others can make some truckers use alcohol or drugs to help fight the feelings of loneliness or depression that can come with the job. Alcohol abuse appears to be especially problematic, with roughly 90 percent of truck drivers surveyed acknowledging abusing alcohol at work. You can find more about truck crashes on our webpage.