Drug Addiction a Major Truck Driver Problem
When people think of demographics at risk for drug addiction and regular substance abuse they do not typically think of truck drivers. Believe it or not, truck drivers actually are at very high risk of developing drug addiction which naturally puts those they share the road with at risk as well.
Studies have found that truck driver substance abuse is a problem that goes worldwide with 30% of drivers in the study admitting to using amphetamines while half admitted to drinking. In the United States, truckers have been shown to exhibit reckless drug-using behavior while behind the wheel that causes accidents through the increase in failed drug tests. Truckers have been steadily failing drug tests required by trucking companies more every year. While the amount that fails these drug tests tend to be a little under 2%, that still is a large amount if you think about the number of truckers overall in the country. These tests still are not perfect and many truckers slip through the cracks as well.
What Drugs do Semi-Truck Drivers Abuse?
Semi-truck drivers have to contend with some difficult conditions that come with their career. They spend long hours alone in the small cab of a truck that can be very difficult to maneuver safely. Semi-truck drivers get paid by the mile rather than by the hour and they can only drive up to 11 hours a day before they are required to take a 10 hour rest period. They spend a very long amount of time sitting in the same position staring at the road alone while the scenery shoots by. It is a very solitary and monotonous existence that can wear a person down.
It is no wonder that many truck drivers turn to many vices such as gambling, sex workers, and drugs. It is something that many trucking companies are acutely aware of and have to address with drug tests and screenings. These truckers will turn to several different substances with different effects to help them cope with the demands of their job.
Amphetamines – One of the more common drugs that truckers will use are amphetamines. These dugs will also be called uppers or speed and like their namesakes, their function heightens the user’s awareness and stimulates them. Amphetamines are usually used to treat people with ADD or ADHD as well as help with narcolepsy. Truckers will take amphetamines to keep themselves awake and active through the long hours they spend behind the wheel. Instead of taking breaks as they should, some truckers will use amphetamines to go without sleep and help meet strict deadlines.
Cannabis – The most common drug used by truckers is cannabis. Lately, it has become more common than ever for truckers to use cannabis since they cross state lines often and many states now have legalized this drug. Cannabis is not just smoked but can come in edible formats as well as lotions, sprays, and even gum. Its availability, as well as the options of use for cannabinoids, have made its use widespread among truckers.
Cocaine – While cocaine is not as commonly used as cannabis and amphetamines, it still is a problem for some truckers. Cocaine is in the same family of drugs as amphetamines known as stimulants. They both have similar effects that amp up drivers so that they can stay awake and aware while driving long shifts.
Trucker Drug Abuse Causes Truck Accidents
When truckers engage in the risky behavior of on the job drug use, they put everyone on the road in danger. Many destructive truck accidents have occurred because a driver felt they could use amphetamines or marijuana while behind the wheel without having to worry about their potential negative side effects.
Marijuana is different from alcohol but some of their effects can be very similar. Cannabis can make drivers drowsy and slow their reflexes, reduce their perception, as well as make concentration difficult; all things that can negatively affect their driving of a demanding semi-truck.
Amphetamines and cocaine may make driving for long periods without sleep possible but they take a toll on the body when they deny rest. The continued use of stimulants can lead to the buildup of a rest deficit that can cause a number of negative symptoms. The most dangerous of these symptoms is passing out due to fatigue which will almost assuredly cause a truck accident if a driver is behind the wheel when it happens. On top of that, drivers can have their reaction times altered and see hallucinations while under the effects of amphetamines or cocaine for long driving periods. They influence driving behavior by making drivers more likely to make reckless maneuvers such as speeding and generally cause drivers to drive in a more frantic hyperactive state.
Seek an Experienced Semi-Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident where a truck driver was under the influence then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group about a free consultation on your potential claim. Our lawyers are more than happy to sit with you and discuss the details of your claim. We can offer insight on your claim and outline some options of how you can take legal action against those responsible for your injuries.
Matt Dolman and the rest of the Dolman Law team have been handling truck accident claims for years now with a long record of success. We provide each client with the level of attention that they would expect to receive from a smaller firm yet we offer the resources and above the bar result of a major law firm. Let us assist you in seeking compensation for your injuries from the insurance company. Going it alone against these companies can be exceptionally difficult even when not dealing with truck accident injuries. Dolman Law Group will take the fight to the insurance company and ensure that you receive the fair settlement that you deserve. You can reach our Clearwater office at 727-451-6900 or contact us online.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756