Truck drivers and their large, heavy vehicles pose a threat to everyone else on Texas roadways due to size and weight alone. Yet, when the professionals driving those large, heavy vehicles also engage in behaviors that threaten their driving abilities, they become even more of a public hazard.
Per ESR Check, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which logs and tracks drug-related infractions received by commercial truckers, shows a sharp increase in the number of truckers abusing drugs on the job.
How often truckers are using drugs at work
The number of truck drivers who had failed drug tests in 2021 increased by almost 13% over the year prior. The clearinghouse first began tracking trucker drug infractions in early 2020. By August of 2021, 87,438 U.S. truck drivers had their drug-related offenses logged in the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.
What drugs truckers are using at work
While studies show that today’s truckers are abusing a range of different types of drugs, trucker use of marijuana has become especially widespread. This may be due to some degree to the fact that different states have different regulations about marijuana and its usage. However, when comparing the first eight months of 2021 with the same span the previous year, the number of truckers receiving positive drug tests for marijuana rose by 3,186. The number of truck drivers testing positive for cocaine rose by 680 during this same stretch, while the number of truckers testing positive for methamphetamine increased by 147.
A truck driver’s abuse of drugs has the capacity to affect many elements of his or her driving ability, including judgment and reaction time.