The trucking industry plays a key role in transporting goods across the country. However, there is a growing concern within the industry as marijuana use among commercial truck drivers is increasing.
Understanding the implications of this trend is important for ensuring road safety and the well-being of those who rely on the transportation of goods.
Increased accessibility and changing attitudes
Factors contributing to the rise in marijuana use among commercial truck drivers include its increased accessibility and changing attitudes toward the drug. As more states legalize or decriminalize marijuana, it has become more readily available. Social perceptions surrounding its use have also shifted. This changing landscape contributes to an uptick in marijuana use among commercial truckers.
Impacts on driving abilities
Marijuana use can impair cognitive functions, and commercial truck drivers are no exception. The sedative effects of marijuana can result in slowed reaction times. They can also lead to impaired judgment and reduced coordination. These skills are necessary for safely operating large vehicles. The consequences of impaired driving can be severe. The potential for accidents poses risks to both the truck driver and other motorists on the road.
Challenges in detection
Unlike alcohol, marijuana’s psychoactive compound stays in the bloodstream for an extended period. This poses challenges in detecting recent marijuana use. While drug tests can identify THC, determining whether impairment is current or residual remains a challenge. This highlights the need for comprehensive testing protocols within the trucking industry.
Transport Topics notes that the number of truckers testing positive for marijuana rose 9.2% during the first quarter of 2023. As the landscape of marijuana legalization evolves, prioritizing safety measures helps maintain the integrity of the trucking profession and safeguard the well-being of all road users. If you, or someone you know, has been injured by a negligent truck driver please be sure that contact is timely made with an experienced truck accident lawyer for advice.