When cars and big rigs collide in California, it is generally the people traveling in the smaller passenger vehicle that suffer the most injuries or fatalities. Driving a commercial truck requires considerable responsibility and attentiveness. Yet, research shows that many modern truck drivers are shirking their responsibilities and taking risks that endanger the public while at work.
According to Transport Topics, the number of truck drivers who received drug-related citations rose 10% between 2020 and 2021. The information comes from data compiled via the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which is a database that tracks alcohol and drug infractions given to commercial truck drivers.
How often truckers receive drug violations
In 2020, the FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse logged 53,557 truck driver drug citations. However, the following year, this number increased, with 55,223 drug citations given to big rig drivers in 2021. The majority, or about 55%, of these citations, were for truck drivers using marijuana. However, cocaine use also increased among commercial truckers. In 2020, truck drivers received 7,940 citations involving cocaine use. In 2021, this number increased to 8,765 citations.
How truckers return to work after a violation
Before a trucker who receives a drug citation may return to work, he or she has to follow a specific return-to-duty protocol. However, many neglect to do so, and at the end of 2021, there were an estimated 81,000 truck drivers still in prohibited driving status.
Truck drivers whose use of drugs or alcohol results in someone else suffering injuries or fatalities may face sizable legal and other sanctions.