Commercial truck drivers working in Alabama and across the nation need to exercise extreme caution behind the wheel. Yet, studies show that a growing number of truck drivers are taking dangerous risks on the job. Drug violations are on the rise among commercial truckers nationwide, and this means increased risks for everyone sharing the road with them.
According to Transport Topics, drug violations among commercial truck drivers increased by 10% between 2020 and 2021, rising from 52,810 in 2020 to 58,215 in 2021. The findings come from data compiled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The database, enacted at the beginning of 2020, tracks drug and alcohol violations received by truck drivers and offers insight into how problematic drug and alcohol abuse is industrywide.
What truckers are abusing
The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse tracks numerous types of truck driver drug infractions, including those received by truckers who refused to take drug tests and those received by truckers who failed drug tests. Most infractions logged in the clearinghouse involve failed drug tests, and most truck drivers who tested positive for drugs tested positive for marijuana.
What happens to truckers with drug infractions
When a truck driver has a drug infraction logged in the clearinghouse, that driver enters “prohibited driving status.” He or she must then complete a predetermined return-to-duty process and pass a return-to-duty test before driving a truck professionally again.
Drug use has the potential to impact many areas of a truck driver’s performance, including his or her reaction time, judgment and coordination. Truck drivers who abuse drugs before driving put everyone else on the roadway at risk.