Marijuana use impacts a driver’s judgment and overall ability to drive, which is why truck drivers working in Texas and across the nation may not use it while working. However, research shows that a growing number of professional truck drivers are using marijuana on the job and in doing so, endangering everyone else on the roadway.
Per Transport Topics, the number of commercial truckers who had drug tests positive for marijuana rose 32% between 2021 and 2022. The information comes from a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted several years ago to track substance-abusing truckers.
How many truckers are using marijuana
Almost 41,000 commercial truck drivers took drug tests that wound up being positive for marijuana in 2022. This made marijuana, by far, the drug most commonly abused by this demographic. Since the clearinghouse came into existence in early 2020, more than 100,000 American truck drivers have had positive marijuana tests logged within it.
How marijuana affects a trucker’s driving ability
When a truck driver uses marijuana either while at the wheel or before getting behind it, it has the potential to hinder his or her perception, judgment and reaction time. Marijuana use also impairs a motorist’s coordination and perception. While this creates risks for any driver who uses marijuana, the stakes are especially high when truckers do so due to the size and weight of their vehicles.
Truckers who use marijuana on the job may face a wide range of consequences and may lose their jobs. Truckers who have positive drug tests logged in the clearinghouse also have to follow certain protocols before they may drive professionally again.