Sharing the road with semi-trucks is an unavoidable part of life in Montana, but many motorists feel fearful anytime they find themselves in close proximity to these large, heavy vehicles. While the sheer size and weight of commercial trucks present inevitable dangers, such dangers become compounded when truck drivers fail to follow the rules of the road and abuse substances before getting behind the wheel.
Just how common is substance abuse among commercial truckers? According to the American Addiction Centers, numerous studies have suggested a strong link between the truck driving profession and substance abuse. In fact, 36 studies conducted between 2000 and 2013 revealed that more than 90 percent of truck drivers drank alcohol while on the job, while more than 80 percent abused amphetamines and more than 8 percent acknowledged using cocaine.
Amphetamine use has long been a problem for many truckers, and this is likely due in part to the fact that many truckers face long, grueling schedules and an obligation to cover multiple miles at a time. When truckers abuse amphetamines, however, it can lead to hallucinations, hypertension and agitation, all of which can result in impaired driving.
When truckers abuse substances such as amphetamines, it can also affect the entire trucking industry. Truckers under the influence of amphetamines may be able to log longer days and cover more miles, giving their employers the impression that this workload is normal. This can lead to longer shifts, which leads some truckers to abuse more amphetamines, creating something of a vicious cycle.
This information about substance abuse among truckers is informational in nature and does not constitute legal advice.