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How common is substance abuse among truckers?

It is virtually impossible to drive down a California freeway and not come in contact with commercial trucks, but for many motorists, sharing the road with these large, tremendously heavy vehicles can be a stressful, anxiety-inducing experience. While the size and weight of semi-trucks makes them inherently threatening to motorists driving smaller passenger vehicles, the threats they pose become far more pronounced when truck drivers engage in substance abuse before getting behind the wheel.

According to American Addiction Centers, many of today's truckers combat loneliness, demanding schedules and boredom, all of which can contribute to a truck driver's likelihood of abusing substances. A trucker's use of drugs or alcohol behind the wheel can have a considerable impact on his or her performance, however, affecting everything from visibility and alertness to reaction time.

So, just how common is substance abuse among today's semi-truck drivers? According to numerous studies, as many as 91 percent of truck driving survey participants acknowledged using alcohol while on the job. Meanwhile, more than 80 percent of the drivers surveyed reporting abusing amphetamines while on the job, which many do in an effort to log more miles and make more money.

Another 8 percent of surveyed truck drivers admitted to using cocaine while at work, which can affect them in a manner similar to amphetamines. When drivers use these "uppers," however, they inevitably crash later, which can make them more likely to fall asleep at the wheel and cause accidents.

This information about substance abuse among truck drivers is informative in nature and does not constitute legal advice.

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