As a Pennsylvania resident, encountering large commercial trucks on state roadways is likely a common occurrence, but you may, like many others, feel uneasy when navigating your way around them. While the sheer size and weight of modern semi-trucks make them inherently dangerous, they become even more potentially deadly when the people commandeering them abuse drugs or alcohol on the job.
Regrettably, per the American Addiction Centers, substance abuse among truckers is a far more common occurrence than you might like to think. In fact, a series of 36 studies on truck driver substance abuse conducted over a 13-year period revealed some sobering statistics about just how many truckers are turning to drugs and alcohol while at work.
Drug use, for example, is common among truck drivers, and many of them use amphetamines, in particular, while working. In fact, about 82 percent of semi-truck drivers in the series of studies reported that they had abused amphetamines on the job. Why is amphetamine use so common among truck drivers? In some cases, truckers turn to amphetamines because they can increase alertness for a period, which might allow truckers to travel further and finish a job faster than they would otherwise.
Once the effects of amphetamines start to wear off, though, truckers can experience a come-down effect, which can make them even more tired and likely to drive drowsy. Amphetamine use can also make some drivers more prone to taking unnecessary risks, which can endanger everyone else on the roadway. Alcohol abuse among truckers, too, is cause for concern, with up to 91 percent of those surveyed reporting they had consumed alcohol on the job.
This information about trucker substance abuse is educational in nature and is not a substitute for legal advice.