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Do truck drivers use drugs behind the wheel?

When you pass a semitruck on the road in Connecticut, you likely do not think about the demands of the job. The long hours associated with this profession can be taxing for truckers, though, and to meet the rigors of the job, some turn to drugs.

According to Reuters, a study of truck drivers from countries across the world, including the U.S., demonstrates that some truckers use drugs as they drive. While different countries reported different percentages of drugged drivers, an average of 30 percent of truckers acknowledged the use of drugs such as amphetamines. These drivers tend to be more inexperienced and generally drive longer routes. Another common factor among these drugged drivers is youth and prior accidents.

The use of these drugs is alarming because of the effects they can have upon a driver. After using cocaine and amphetamines, a trucker might experience hallucinations and vertigo. Those who use marijuana may be less able to concentrate and feel more fatigue. The reactions of truck drivers can be affected as they use these drugs, and these slow or changed reactions can result in accidents which may have otherwise been avoided.

A representative of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says that when tested for drugs, U.S. truck drivers usually test negative, and stresses that safety is of the utmost importance. More research is needed to fully understand the number of truck drivers who use drugs and how often these substances are used.

This information is meant to inform and is general in nature. It should not be considered legal advice.

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