The number of commercial truckers using marijuana in New Jersey and the United States is rising. This is true despite the fact that marijuana use may have a substantial impact on driving ability. Commercial trucks present a threat to everyone they encounter on the roadway simply because of how big and heavy they are. Yet, when the people driving these vehicles are doing so under the influence, their trucks become even more of a threat to the public.
According to Transport Topics, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration keeps a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse is a database that collects information about truck drivers who receive drug- or alcohol-related infractions on the job.
How often truckers use marijuana
Studies show a 32% uptick in the number of commercial truck drivers using marijuana on the job in 2022 versus 2021. Almost 41,000 had marijuana-related drug infractions logged in the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse last year. Truckers who test positive for marijuana or other banned substances must enter and complete a specific return-to-duty process before they may drive professionally again.
How often truckers use other drugs
While these numbers suggest that truckers using marijuana is of particular concern, research shows that truck drivers are also using other dangerous substances behind the wheel. After marijuana, American truck drivers were most likely to test positive for using cocaine, methamphetamines and amphetamines, in that order. Altogether, 90% of truckers who had positive drug tests in 2022 tested positive for marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines or amphetamines.
A trucker’s use of marijuana or another banned substance has the capacity to impact everything from that driver’s judgment to his or her level of alertness and reaction time.