A new study on truck driver behavior found some concerning results, specifically regarding drug and alcohol use by drivers while they are on the road. The study found that substances like alcohol, amphetamines, marijuana, and cocaine were all used by some truck drivers at varying levels.
The study was conducted internationally, so it included data from the United States as well as many other countries to get an idea of the behavior of professional truckers as a whole population. Some of the data came from questionnaires filled out by the drivers and other data came from biological testing to detect recent drug or alcohol use.
This is a major public safety issue for just about everyone, as one of the study authors pointed out. Truck accidents can be devastating because of the size and weight of the vehicle and because they are often traveling at high speeds. As a result, injuries suffered by truck accident victims can be catastrophic or fatal, depending on the circumstances.
If a truck driver is using substances illegally while they are behind the wheel, this could significantly contribute to causing a fatal accident. This is why there are such strict regulations on truckers and why trucking companies have a duty to monitor their drivers to make sure they are complying with regulations and not engaging in any illegal activity that would put the public at risk of injury or fatal accident. If they do not, the employer could be liable for the injuries or fatalities that result.
Source: Health Day, “Study Probes Why Truckers Use Booze, Illicit Drugs,” Oct. 22, 2013.