Meth has ravaged its way through countless communities leaving shattered lives and high body counts in its wake. Surprisingly, however, nowhere is this drug more problematic than in the commercial trucking industry. Driven to work long hours and cover hundreds of miles in a single day, many truckers turn to meth in an effort to stay awake longer. Providing an increased sense of focus, this illicit substance makes it possible for truckers to meet the impossible demands that their companies have set.
Sadly, although it gives truckers the feeling of being more energized and alert, nothing replaces a good night of sleep. Using meth can make drivers edgy and irritable. It can also make them drive in ways that are both aggressive and unsafe.
The Impossible Demands of Commercial Trucking
The work of a commercial trucker is far more than simply driving from point A to Point B. Many of these professionals are required to log a minimum of 500 miles per day. Moreover, most drive no fewer than eight days straight. Much of this time is spent alone in their cabs with little but the road ahead to keep them entertained.
Not only can this work get monotonous and boring, but it can also be incredibly lonely. Worst of all, rather than being paid according to the numbers of hours that they log, truckers are compensated based upon the number of miles that they cover.
Many turn to meth as a way to keep up with their intense driving schedules. Not only does methamphetamine limit the desire to sleep, but it also gives a heightened sense of focus. This provides a false sense of confidence for truckers who are often making their way over challenging terrain, through rush hour traffic, and through cities and towns that they’ve never driven before.
Some meth users can actually go for several days on just a few hours of sleep or absolutely no sleep at all. While they might maintain their false sense of confidence and heightened focus, they’re likely to:
- Become agitated
- Make hasty and aggressive driving decisions like overtaking
When moving in massive vehicles and often at high speeds, meth can impair a driver’s judgment in ways that are downright deadly. Large truck collision accidents can shut down freeways, involve multiple vehicles, and result in devastating injuries and loss of lives. The more methamphetamine that drivers use; the more they’re able to accomplish. Worse still, this gives trucking companies the idea that drivers are able to do more than they realistically can. As a result, expectations for truckers often increase.
Most truck drivers start taking meth because they’re facing overwhelming demands from their employers that cannot be met without a means for staying awake longer and doing more. Not only does meth allow truckers to increase their driving distances, but the feelings of power and energy that it incites can mute their boredom, loneliness, and malaise. Despite the countless drawbacks of driving while under the influence of meth, it makes covering 500 miles per day, and working eight-day shifts a bit easier to tolerate.
Intense driving schedules and unforgiving job demands put truckers and other motorists at danger in another way. This is truckers’ inability to realistically fit time in for professional drug treatment. While trucking companies recognize drug use as an industry problem and conduct drug tests, there are few provisions in place for ensuring that those who are addicted to meth can get the help they need without being penalized. As such, truckers are unlikely to be forthright about their meth addictions, and unlikely to seek help.
By Kerry L. Tucker
Early in his journalism career, Kerry L. Tucker had a revelation: there were not enough experts reporting on law issues. Legal matters are part of daily life. Yet, there seems to be a general aversion towards them. One of the main reasons for this is that the convoluted legal language is difficult for many people to follow. Therefore, he decided to change how the law is perceived by the public. Throughout his career, he met with many people who shared their personal stories with him. Some of these hit him harder. One of the cases that stayed with him and influenced his future career development was a car accident case involving a child. From then on, he decided to zero in on car accident lawsuits.