Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that can drastically impair a person’s judgment and reaction time. When commercial truck drivers use cocaine, they may become overconfident and take unnecessary risks on the road.
Impaired reaction times can lead to delayed responses to sudden changes in traffic conditions, making accidents more likely.
Decreased focus and attention
Many cocaine users experience heightened states of agitation or restlessness, making it challenging for truck drivers to maintain the level of attention and focus required for safe driving. This decreased attention can lead to dangerous lane drifting, missed traffic signals and an increased likelihood of rear-end collisions.
Fatigue and erratic sleep patterns
Fatigue and exhaustion often accompany cocaine use, as the drug prevents some users from getting adequate rest. This makes truck drivers more susceptible to falling asleep at the wheel.
Cocaine can also induce feelings of irritability and aggression, which can manifest in reckless and aggressive driving behavior. Commercial truck drivers under the influence of cocaine may tailgate, exhibit road rage and engage in other dangerous behaviors that threaten everyone on the road.
Risk of overdose
Truck drivers who use cocaine while on the job risk suffering from a cocaine overdose, which may have fatal consequences. An overdose can occur suddenly, leaving the driver incapacitated and unable to control his or her vehicle. This, in turn, raises the chances of a wreck.
While many truck drivers take urine tests to prove they are not under the influence of drugs, the use of hair tests is less common. While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration disqualifies drivers who have positive urine tests, research shows that they would have disqualified another 58,910 drivers had they relied on hair tests, which reveal cocaine usage.