More and more commercial truck drivers across Delaware and the rest of the nation are using drugs on the job, even though drug use has a sizable impact on driving performance. Research shows that, in the first eight months of 2021, commercial truck drivers used marijuana, cocaine and amphetamines on the job more than they did during the same stretch of time in 2020.
According to ESR Check, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration now logs truck driver substance infractions in a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The clearinghouse is a database implemented in early 2020 to help prevent substance abuse among professional truck drivers. So far, clearinghouse findings have revealed the following about drug use in commercial trucking.
Truckers and marijuana use
Marijuana was, without question, the most common drug abused by U.S. truck drivers. Many believe this is because rules governing marijuana use vary so much from state to state. During the first eight months of 2020, 18,252 semi-truck drivers had their names listed in the clearinghouse for marijuana violations. During the first eight months of 2020, 21,438 trucker names appeared in the clearinghouse with marijuana violations.
Truckers and cocaine, amphetamine use
The use of cocaine and amphetamines also increased between the first eight months of 2020 and the same span in 2021. In 2020, there were 5,233 truckers with cocaine infractions compared with 5,913 in 2021. In terms of amphetamine use, there were 3,379 truckers with amphetamine violations between January and August of 2020 compared with 21,438 truckers with these violations during the first eight months of 2021.
Trucker drug use may impact a driver’s performance in many ways. It may hinder reaction time and judgment, for starters. It may, too, lead a truck driver to take risks behind the wheel he or she otherwise would not.