Sharing Alabama’s roadways with semi-trucks may make you feel uneasy, and you may feel even more so after hearing that more truck drivers are turning to drugs while on the job. When a truck driver abuses drugs and then gets behind the wheel, the odds of him or her causing a serious, potentially deadly crash increase as a result.
According to ESR Check, the number of truck drivers abusing drugs on the job saw a notable increase between the first eight months of 2020 and the same timespan the following year. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration maintains a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse that serves as a database logging truck driver drug infractions. The number of trucker drug infractions recorded in the clearinghouse rose 13% between January and September 2020 and January and September of 2021.
Marijuana use among truck drivers
Marijuana was the most abused drug by commercial truck drivers by far, with the first eight months of 2021 producing 21,438 trucker drug tests that were positive for marijuana. During the same stretch of time the year before, there were 18,252 truck drivers who tested positive for marijuana.
Other drug use among truck drivers
While fewer truck drivers used cocaine or methamphetamine than marijuana, there were still increases in use in both areas. The number of truckers who received methamphetamine infractions rose from 3,379 during the eight-month stretch of 2020 to 3,526 in 2021. The number of semi-truck drivers with cocaine violations rose from 5,233 in the first eight months of 2020 to 5,913 during the same span in 2021.
Truckers who abuse drugs and cause fatal or nonfatal wrecks may face serious legal and criminal sanctions.