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Study examines substance abuse among truck drivers

Individuals, who are employed as professional truck drivers, encounter many difficult driving situations. These men and women drive thousands of hours in all type of traffic and weather conditions. In an effort to ensure for both the safety of commercial truck drivers and the general public, in the United States, truckers are required to adhere to a number rules and regulations.

Along with restrictions on the number of hours and times at which truckers are allowed to drive, truck drivers, like all drivers, are also required to abstain from drinking or taking illicit drugs while driving. A new study, however, shows alarming statistics related to the percentage of professional truck drivers who are using alcohol and drugs and getting behind the wheel of a big rig.

The study was conducted by researchers at a Brazil university and examined reported incidences of substance abuse of truck drivers in numerous large countries. Across the board, researchers found that those drivers who are younger and paid less were more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol while working.

For the study, respondents were asked a series of questions related to drug and alcohol use. Blood samples were also collected from respondents and tested for traces of both alcohol and illicit drugs. Overall, truckers were most likely to abuse alcohol, speed, marijuana and cocaine.

The results of this and other similar studies are disturbing as truck drivers who drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs are shown to have a slower reaction time. Ohio residents who have been involved and injured in a truck accident may choose to take legal action. If it's determined that a truck driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time the accident occurred, the truck driver and trucking company may be held liable for an damages or injuries that resulted.

Source: Consumer Health Day, "Study Probes Why Truckers Use Booze, Illicit Drugs: Drivers who are younger or paid less more likely to be users, international review found," Oct. 22, 2013

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