How Big a Problem Is Drug & Alcohol Abuse Among Truckers?

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Commercial truck drivers have hard jobs. They’re on a deadline hauling a 10,000 to 80,000 pound, potential death machine on highways riddled with inconsiderate passenger cars. Because their jobs are so stressful and require long hours to do efficiently, a study in 2013 showed truck drivers have a high use of stimulants and other drugs to get through a shift.

The study was worldwide, including 36 previous studies from places that rely heavily on trucking, such as Brazil, the United States, and Australia. The majority of studies also relied only on what drivers admitted to taking in surveys (only about a dozen were based on physical drug tests).

When drivers were asked, about 50% admitted to drinking and driving, and 30% admitted to using amphetamines. Around 8% of drivers tested positive for amphetamines, compared to 3% and 4% for alcohol, on average. One study in the United States had the highest frequency of positive alcohol tests worldwide (12.5%). Almost 20% of drivers also reported using marijuana and 3% admitted to using cocaine.

While this study can’t be applied to truckers everywhere, it’s enough to give people pause. Commercial trucks are large, heavy, and often difficult to maneuver. If a truck driver is under the influence of some kind of illegal substance, he or she is more likely to make a mistake that can get other drivers killed or at least leave them with a debilitating catastrophic injury (such as a severe traumatic brain injury or paralysis caused by spinal cord damage). After the studies had come out, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) indicated the trucking industry had strict requirements for pre-employment drug testing and random and post-accident screening.

If you suspect your accident with a commercial truck was caused by a driver under the influence of a controlled substance, make sure to call one of our skilled Houston personal injury attorneys. Fibich, Leebron, Copeland, & Briggs is a firm with more than a century of combined legal experience in personal injury law. We have provided representation for injured victims and their families for years. Attorney Fibich is board-certified in civil trial law, and Attorneys Briggs and Henderson are both board-certified in personal injury trial law. Trust our experienced representatives with your case. When a client hires us, we will work tirelessly to ensure our clients have a voice in the courtroom and their case is treated with dedication, tenacity, morale, and respect from start to finish.

Contact us at (713) 489-6566 or fill out our online form to schedule a case consultation today. Let us go above and beyond to give you the representation and compensation you deserve.

At Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs, we draw from over a century of combined legal know-how and expertise. With the tenacity to win and the resources to get us there, our lawyers provide strong representation for injured victims and their families.