Is substance abuse common among truck drivers?

Driving a tractor-trailer can be a lonely and boring profession. It involves long hours alone driving down similar-looking roadways with few forms of available entertainment.

Some truck drivers turn to alcohol or drugs for relief from the sometimes, mind-numbing nature of their profession. At least half of truck drivers around the world drink alcohol on the job and 30% of truck drivers around the world use amphetamines while working.

Why is drug use so common among truckers?

Amphetamines are popular drugs used among truckers partially because they help truck drivers stay awake for long periods of time. Federal hours-of-service regulations limit how many hours a trucker can drive without a break. However, it is common for drivers to violate these restrictions because they are paid by the miles driven, not the hours they work.

Although drugs like amphetamines and cocaine help truckers stay awake, these drugs can also lead to drivers taking unnecessary risks. This may include speeding, changing lanes without appropriate caution and other risky behaviors. Side effects can also include hallucinations, agitation and hypertension, among others, and when the drugs wear off, drivers can feel extremely tired and could even fall asleep at the wheel.

Is there anything I can do to protect myself from reckless truckers?

Statistics about drug use among truckers may be alarming if you regularly share the road with tractor-trailers, especially considering the amount of damage a tractor-trailer can cause in a collision. However, you may be able to protect yourself on the road by maintaining plenty of space between you and the tractor-trailer. This will allow you more time to react if the trucker behaves unpredictably, while also keeping you out of the tractor-trailer’s large blind spots.

If you are injured in a crash that involves a tractor trailer, it may be appropriate to hold the truck driver responsible. You may be able to receive compensation for your medical expenses and other costs associated with your injuries.

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