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Study focuses on impaired driving among truck drivers
Posted By Kinnard, Clayton & Beveridge || Oct 30, 2013
Every year hundreds of people are injured in car accidents in Tennessee caused by drunk drivers. Since these accidents are 100 percent preventable -- by someone intoxicated simply not getting behind the wheel -- there is a good deal of information made available in order to better educate the public on the dangers and prevent accidents from happening.
Of course though, the focus should not just be on those driving passenger-sized vehicles. Rather, the focus must also be on commercial truck drivers.
Recently, researchers reviewed data from 36 previously done studies across the world that focused on the use of alcohol and drugs among truck drivers. The results were rather alarming, even here in the U.S.
Overall, the study suggests there are a number of truck drivers who do take stimulants in order to get through their jobs. The study went on to find a link between drug and alcohol use and poor working conditions.
In this study, authors are quick to point out that while truck drivers may use cocaine or amphetamines with the goal of being able to stay awake and more alert, the truth is these drugs may also cause vertigo and hallucinations, among other negative side effects.
In terms of using marijuana, the authors point to fatigue and a decrease in concentration. Both of these effects can easily lead to accidents.
According to the recent study, the U.S. was rather high in terms of drivers testing positive for alcohol. In fact, in one study, 12.5 percent of drivers tested positive for alcohol.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration did comment on the recent study via email to Reuters Health. FMCSA pointed to the fact that when it comes to drug and alcohol testing, positive results are very low and most truck drivers would not jeopardize their careers, their lives and the lives of others by driving while impaired.
Of course though, as the news proves time and time again, there are trucking accidents every year throughout the U.S. where drugs and alcohol do play a role, so one should not think this is a problem that never happens.