Many people living in Louisiana dislike sharing the road with large trucks because they often prove difficult to see or navigate around. Commercial trucks pose a threat to everyone traveling in smaller vehicles due to their size and weight, alone. However, a growing number of professional truck drivers are also taking dangerous risks behind the wheel that make their trucks even more of a threat to public safety.
According to Transport Topics, the number of truck drivers using drugs, and the number of truckers using marijuana, specifically, has risen sharply in recent years. The uptick is raising questions about what is behind it and what transportation officials might do to enhance public safety.
How common marijuana use is among truckers
Statistics about truck driver drug use come from data compiled in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. Data shows that marijuana is, by far, the most common drug abused by professional truck drivers, with almost 40,000 truckers testing positive for the substance in 2022 alone. This was a 32% increase from the year prior.
How common other drug use is among truckers
Research shows that truck drivers also increased their use of other drugs in 2022 compared to the year before. Truck drivers had more positive drug tests for cocaine, amphetamines and methamphetamines in 2022 than they did in 2021. Altogether, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines and methamphetamines accounted for 90% of all positive drug tests taken by commercial truckers in the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse’s three-year history.
Drug use by professional truck drivers has the potential to dramatically increase the chances of an accident by impacting a trucker’s judgment, reaction time and more.