The trucking profession is often a lonely one. The long hours and difficult nature of the job lead many truck drivers to seek out ways to relax or combat boredom. These are among the reasons that today’s truckers report high rates of substance abuse, even though using drugs or alcohol on the job may have a substantial impact on driving performance.
Per the American Addiction Centers, studies have repeatedly shown that truckers engage in alcohol and drug abuse at alarming rates.
Semitruck drivers and drug use
Many studies have shown high rates of drug abuse among truck drivers, with substances with stimulating properties proving particularly popular. In some cases, drivers use these substances in an attempt to cover more miles in a single shift and make more money.
Regardless of their reasoning for abusing stimulants, truckers who do so often experience a wide range of side effects that have the potential to impact driving performance. They may experience hallucinations, for example, or their drug use may lead to agitation or high blood pressure.
Semitruck drivers and alcohol abuse
Alcohol abuse is also common in commercial trucking. The results of 36 studies on trucker habits revealed that as many as 91% of them acknowledge having used alcohol while working.
Truck drivers in the United States report higher rates of on-the-job alcohol abuse than truck drivers anywhere else in the world. Using alcohol while driving may have serious negative effects on performance. Doing so may impact everything from reflexes and reaction time to vision and color perception. Alcohol also affects a motorist’s judgment and may lead truck drivers to take unnecessary risks that endanger everyone they encounter.