An 80,000- pound tractor trailer being operated by a person who is barely able to focus under the influence of drugs or alcohol- believe it or not, is situation that is not uncommon. According to a review of several studies on alcohol and drug use among truck drivers conducted across the world, drug use and alcohol use by truck drivers on the job, is fairly commonplace across the globe.
The new study focused on dozens of studies that were conducted across the world on the fairly common problem of drinking and drug use by truck drivers. The review finds that these problems are fairly common, and that they are very worrisome, not only because of the effect that they have on driver’s health, but also because of the heightened risk of truck accidents posed by such intoxicated drivers.
In recent years, researchers have also found that truck drivers are becoming less healthy. Perhaps the long hours on the road lead to drug and alcohol use which in turn creates more health problems for over-the-road drivers.
The analysis found that truckers were most likely to abuse alcohol on the job, followed by amphetamines, marijuana and cocaine. There are widespread variations among truck drivers in various countries when it comes to drug and alcohol use. For instance, in Pakistan, the authors found that the rate of alcohol use on the job was close to 10%, while in Brazil, it was more than 91%.
The analysis also found that when it came to abusing drugs and alcohol on the job, there were several common factors involved. For instance, the age and earning capacity of the driver seemed to be an important part in determining such risky practices. Younger drivers and those who earned below union-set pay rates, or productivity-linked rates were much more likely to abuse alcohol or drugs on the job.
Doug Horn is a Missouri truck accident lawyer, dedicated to the representation of victims of truck accidents across Missouri.