Research shows that more commercial truck drivers in New Jersey and across the United States are testing positive for drugs and that marijuana use, in particular, is increasing among this demographic. Using marijuana may have a significant impact on a trucker’s ability to drive safely. This raises questions about what fleet owners and safety officials might do to address the problem.
According to Transport Topics, there was a 32% increase in the number of professional truck drivers who tested positive for marijuana in 2022 versus the year prior.
How often truckers are using marijuana
Almost 41,000 truck drivers tested positive for marijuana in 2022, per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The clearinghouse took shape a few years ago in an effort to identify truckers who abuse drugs or alcohol on the job. Marijuana was, by far, the most common drug abused by truckers, although thousands of truck drivers tested positive for other substances in 2022, too.
How often truckers are using other substances
Abuse of amphetamine and methamphetamine has long been problematic in the trucking industry, with many drivers hoping these substances are going to help them stay awake longer. Many truckers admit to using cocaine on the job for similar reasons, with amphetamines, methamphetamine and cocaine coming in second, third and fourth, respectively, on the list of drugs most abused by truck drivers.
A truck driver caught abusing marijuana may lose his or her job without the ability to return to the profession. That driver’s employer may also face legal liability if someone suffers an injury or fatality due to a truck driver’s substance abuse.