Using drugs or alcohol before getting behind the wheel may impact judgment, reaction time and performance. When truck drivers do so, they threaten the lives and safety of everyone else on the road. Unfortunately, abuse of drugs and alcohol is common in the trucking industry, and younger, less-experienced truck drivers are more likely to engage in alcohol or drug use while on the clock.
According to the American Addiction Centers, there are several factors that make truck drivers prone to using drugs or alcohol on the job. Some truckers do so because they wish to counteract boredom or end feelings of loneliness. Others use particular substances, such as amphetamines, because they think doing so might improve alertness or performance.
Why young truckers abuse substances
Why is it that younger truck drivers are more likely to use drugs and alcohol while driving than their older industry colleagues? In some cases, a lack of experience makes young truck drivers more prone to substance abuse. Younger drivers also may not understand the dangers associated with doing so, or they may not recognize how abusing drugs or alcohol may threaten their jobs.
Research shows that younger drivers are also more driven to make money than older truck drivers. Many truckers receive pay “per mile,” so they may see abusing amphetamines or other substances that increase alertness as a means of making more money.
How many truckers abuse substances
A series of studies that took place between 2000 and 2013 showed that as many as 91% of truck drivers admit to using alcohol on the job. Another about 82% acknowledge using amphetamines while at their vehicle’s controls, despite the monumental risks associated with doing so.