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Substance Abuse: A Pressing Issue Among Truck Drivers

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The trucking sector faces significant issues due to long working hours. This is related to the main issue among some truck drivers today: substance abuse.

Substance abuse leads to numerous truck accidents on the road. Drivers high on drugs have little to no knowledge about the severity of incidents they are prone to.

After an accident, it is important to reach out to the top truck accident attorneys. The expertise these legal professionals bring to the table is second to none. With them, you can get the compensation you require to recover from your injuries and get back to your pre-accident life.

In this article, we will analyze the relationship between truck accidents and substance abuse. Read on.

Contributing Factors

Trucking jobs, compared to other jobs, have unique stressors. Isolation for longer periods of time leads to mental stress. Substance abuse has been considered an escape chosen to tackle this stress.

Job Stress and Fatigue

Truck drivers face tight schedules for deliveries, which affects their sleep patterns and diet. High levels of job stress cause fatigue. To effectively do their job, they abuse drugs like amphetamines.

US truck drivers had the highest frequency of positive alcohol tests. About 82.5% have admitted to using amphetamines on the job.

Isolation and Loneliness

Truck drivers spend a lot of time on the road. This results in them abusing substances as a coping mechanism. The absence of social interaction makes it easier for the drivers to turn to drugs. Sadly, about 40,916 professional drivers tested positive in THC tests.

Accessibility of Substances

Alcohol and drugs are conveniently available to truck drivers, as truck stops are hotspots for drug trafficking. All this convenience makes the drivers tempted to engage in substance abuse.

Impact of Substance Abuse

The consumption of harmful drugs like marijuana, amphetamines, and alcohol has a dire effect on the health of truck drivers.

Health Consequences

Chronic use of these drugs can lead to cardiovascular problems, and liver, kidney, and lung issues. These issues can be very detrimental, reducing the chances of a healthy lifestyle and overall lifespan.

About 50% of truck drivers are susceptible to diabetes, while long-term smoking causes lung cancer and affects their diet and sleep cycle, pushing them deeper into the ditch.

Safety Risks

Drugs impair the driver’s ability to drive and operate the truck properly, putting their and others lives at risk. Statistics reveal that out of 4800 fatal accidents, 5% were because of substance abuse.

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Drivers have tremendously tough schedules and job requirements. These tough demands and the easy availability of drugs at truck stops lead to substance abuse. Sometimes, this spirals into addiction as well.

The life of the truck driver as well as the lives of others who share the road with them are at stake in this critical situation. Even though an accident may not occur, the toll on their health would still be a huge consequence on its own.

Truck drivers must follow the HOS rules and take frequent breaks. Trucking companies, on the other hand, must not force drivers to meet tight deadlines and must plan schedules accordingly.

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