When a truck driver driving in New York or another part of the United States uses drugs before getting behind the wheel, it raises the odds of that trucker causing or becoming unable to avoid a crash. Studies show that drug use, and, in particular, the use of marijuana, is rising rapidly among American truck drivers. This raises questions about what trucking company employers might do to enhance roadway safety.
According to Transport Topics, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration created a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse about three years ago to keep track of truck drivers who test positive for drugs or alcohol on the job. Clearinghouse data shows how often truck drivers are abusing illegal substances and what illegal substances they are using.
Truckers and the use of marijuana
The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse showed a 33% increase in the number of professional truck drivers testing positive for marijuana in 2022 versus 2021. Almost 40,000 truckers had positive marijuana tests last year, even though using marijuana at the wheel may have a significant impact on a truck driver’s ability to perform.
Truckers and the use of other drugs
While marijuana is the most common drug abused by truck drivers, it is not the only one truckers are abusing. Clearinghouse findings reveal that cocaine was the second-most-common drug abused by commercial truck drivers, while methamphetamine and amphetamine claimed the third and fourth spots.
The use of any illegal substance has the capacity to impact a truck driver’s abilities and increase the chances of a truck accident. Drug use may affect everything from a driver’s judgment and reaction time to his or her mood and level of alertness.