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How common is substance abuse in the trucking industry?

Today’s truck drivers have a career that requires considerable responsibility, but regrettably, many of them behave in a manner that is anything but responsible. Based on size and weight alone, large tractor-trailers pose a threat to other motorists across New Jersey and the nation, but when the people driving those tractor-trailers are also abusing alcohol or drugs, the trucks become even more potentially deadly.

According to the American Addiction Centers, truck drivers abuse drugs and alcohol at alarming rates, even though the risks associated with driving under the influence have received considerable attention for decades. When truck drivers use substances before getting behind the wheels of their trucks, it can affect alertness, reaction time, judgment and other elements necessary for safe driving, in turn making it far more likely that an under-the-influence trucker would cause a crash.

So, just how common is substance abuse among semi-truck drivers? According to the results of one survey involving truckers and their working conditions, about half of all truckers involved in the survey said they had used alcohol while working as a truck driver. Another 30% of them, meanwhile, acknowledged using amphetamines, such as methamphetamine, at some point while driving their trucks.

The results of a series of multiple studies conducted over a 13-year period revealed even more troubling substance abuse numbers. In those studies, up to 91% of semi-truck drivers said they drink alcohol while at work, while more than 82% said they had abused amphetamines during their careers.

This copy about the prevalence on drug and alcohol abuse in the trucking industry is informational in nature and does not constitute legal advice.

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