Truck driver impairment is a serious problem. If a driver of a big rig abuses any substance, he or she is likely to cause a catastrophic accident.
Truckers often use a variety of substances that put people like you at risk of getting hurt or dying in a wreck. Here are some common drugs that many tractor-trailer drivers use:
- Alcohol: Due to the high availability of alcoholic beverages, consuming them while driving a truck is common. Truck drivers often work for long hours and want something to take the edge off. Even if they consume only a beer or two, it may have disastrous effects. This depressant drug reduces brain functions and impairs reasoning, thinking and muscle coordination. All these skills are necessary for safely operating a commercial truck.
- Marijuana: Public opinion about cannabis is getting a lot more positive. Therefore, many people, including truck drivers, are more likely to use the substance without giving it much of a thought. Using marijuana impairs reaction time, motor skills and judgment.
- Cocaine: According to a study reported by Reuters, some truck drivers use cocaine to help them stay awake through long hours of driving. This stimulative drug gives users energy, alertness and a sense of power. That said, cocaine may also cause truck drivers to hallucinate and lose control of their vehicles.
- Amphetamines: Some truck drivers use amphetamines for the same reason they use cocaine. These drugs result in stimulation, excitement and euphoria. Amphetamines result in difficulty concentrating, loss of balance, slowed reflexes and agitation.
While drivers of large commercial trucks may have difficult jobs at times, it is no excuse to use drugs. Truck drivers who take drugs are putting the health and safety of themselves and others at risk. Some drivers even use multiple substances at once, making the impairment even worse. Drivers should be frequently tested to prevent these instances from happening.