Drug Use A Major Problem With Truck Drivers

While this fact in not commonly known, truck drivers are at a very high risk for developing a drug addiction.  For obvious reasons, this puts the rest of drivers on America’s highways at risk.  Truck drivers have even more responsibility than other drivers considering they are operating a large and dangerous vehicle capable of serious and deadly consequences from a simple mistake.  If you or a loved one has been injured by a truck driver who was using drugs, you need to contact a Michigan truck accident lawyer right away to protect your rights.

There have been numerous studies that have shown truck driver substance abuse in indeed a major problem facing the industry.  Being a truck driver is not an easy job and it requires long hours at the wheel and extreme concentration for long periods of time.  For this reason, many truckers have turned to amphetamines which can help alertness and keep them awake when they may too tired to drive otherwise.  When truck drivers are involved in an accident, they are usually required to take a drug tests and failing these tests is becoming more common every year.  Almost 2% of truckers involved in accidents test positive for some sort of drug.  While this might seem like a small number, you must remember the incredibly large # of trucks on the road.  And you must also consider many trucks accidents aren’t officially reported.  The incentive to keep a truck accident unreported is even greater if the driver knows they would not pass a drug test.

What Narcotics Do Semi-Truck Drivers Use and Prefer?

Truck drivers typically get paid by the mile, so they have an incentive to drive as many miles as possible.  They are only allowed to driver for 11 hours at a time before they are mandated to take at least a 10 hour break.  This rule was created to make sure drivers are well rested when they are driving, but not all drivers follow the rules.  Being a truck driver can be very boring and repetitive.  In order to get through the day mentally, many drivers turn to drugs to make the day go by faster and to forget about their problems.    There are several substances that they turn to and prefer to cope with the demanding aspects of being a truck driver.

Amphetamines – In recent years, amphetamines have become the drug of choice for truck drivers.  The reason behind this is it a stimulant that can increase awareness and concentration.  Millions of American use this class of drug to compact ADD and ADHD and it works the same if used for recreation.  They use amphetamines to stay awake during the long hours of driving and to keep motivated behind the wheel.  The issue is that these drugs aren’t meant to be used regularly and many truck drivers use the truck instead of getting the rest and sleep that they really should be getting to stay safe.

Cannabis – Marijuana is still the #1 choice for truck drivers.  With the recent legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, it is incredibly easy to find.  It’s availabiity in many forms including bud, edibles, oils, and even gum makes it easy to consume while driving.  While driving on cannabis is considered safer than drunk driving, it still impairs the cognitive ability of the driving including decision making and reaction time.  Not exactly the type of negative effects a driver of a huge truck should be looking for.

Cocaine- Cocaine use amongst truck drivers is not as common as marijuana or amphetamines, but it is still a problem.  The effects are similar to amphetamines in that it is a stimulant but the effects tend to wear off sooner and be stronger temporarily.  Truckers typicially used cocaine to help them stay awake during long hours and monotonous driving.

Trucker Drug Abuse Leads To Deadly Truck Accidents

There is no question that when a trucker driver chooses to use narcotics, they are putting the other drivers on the road at a greater risk.  Many truck accidents that have resulted in serious injuries or death have been directly linked to drug use and abuse including logging truck accidents, garbage truck accidents, 18-wheeler accidents, dump truck accidents, and tow truck accidents.  Marijuana is know to make drivers drowsy and more unaware of their surrounding in general.  Driving a truck requires quick decisions and marijuana can reduce depth perception and make concentrating for long periods of time difficult.  Amphetamines and cocaine typcially increase the awareness and keeps drivers awake, but they are meant to be taken continually.  If used regularly, drivers can become run down due do lack of rest and can even pass out due to the fatigue.  Hallucinations are also a common side effect to regular use of these drugs.

Contact a Skilled Truck Accident Lawyer

If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a truck accident where drug use was involved, you should contact a Michigan truck accident lawyer immediately.  Large trucking companies are well versed on what to do after an accident and they usually deploy a team to the scene to minimize their liability.  Our attorneys will make sure to combat their advantage and make sure that your case is taken seriously.  Our attorneys will sit with you and discuss the details of your case and the situation leading up to the accident.  We can offer you solid legal advice and make sure that you know your legal options and protect your rights!