When cars and commercial trucks collide with one another, those in the smaller vehicles often suffer serious injuries and fatalities. Large trucks, by nature, are tough to drive and control. Driving such a large vehicle safely requires someone to be of sound mind. Research shows that substance abuse infractions are on the rise among this group of professionals. This creates serious hazards for everyone else on Virginia and the nation’s roadways.
Per the Commercial Carrier Journal, a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration took shape in early 2020 with the intent of helping identify substance-abusing truckers.
2021 truck driver substance abuse statistics
A review of trucker substance abuse violations logged in the clearinghouse during the first three months of 2021 indicates that these violations are set to outpace those received by truckers in 2020. By the end of March in 2021, American truck drivers received 367 alcohol-involved violations and another 14,321 drug violations. The majority of those drug violations involved marijuana. Many believe this is due to the fact that marijuana laws vary broadly across the nation. However, other infractions involved cocaine or amphetamines, among other substances.
2020 truck driver substance abuse statistics
In 2020, commercial truckers received 1,185 alcohol-related infractions and 54,776 drug-related infractions during the entire year. This breaks down to an average of about 296 alcohol infractions and 13,694 drug violations per quarter, which are below 2021’s numbers.
Truck drivers with drug or alcohol violations are not necessarily banned from continuing to drive trucks. Instead, they must complete particular return-to-duty protocols before they may get back out on the road.