Driving a commercial truck for a living requires a high level of responsibility. Yet, research shows that many truck drivers are shirking their responsibilities by driving under the influence of drugs. Drug use may have a serious impact on a truck driver’s ability to drive. Truckers who abuse substances endanger everyone they encounter across North Carolina and the rest of the nation.
According to ESR, positive drug tests among commercial truckers are on the rise. From January through the end of August of 2021, the number of commercial truck drivers who received drug violations in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse rose 13% in comparison with the same span last year.
Trucker substance abuse statistics
The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which records trucker substance abuse violations to prevent substance abusers from getting out on the roads, recorded more than 95,700 trucker drug violations since it took shape in early 2020. Marijuana was, by far, the most common drug abused by commercial truck drivers. There were 21,438 truckers who received marijuana-related drug violations during the first eight months of 2021. During the same stretch in 2020, there were 18,252 trucker marijuana violations logged in the clearinghouse.
Trucker substance abuse repercussions
Truckers with drug violations have to complete a predetermined return-to-duty protocol before they may drive again after an infraction. Of the 87,438 truck drivers who received drug violations during the first eight months of 2021, about 70,000 remain in “prohibited driving status.”
Truckers have a duty to abstain from using drugs on the job. However, trucking companies also have a responsibility to perform background checks on their drivers and report those who have drug infractions.