When Florida drivers use marijuana before getting behind the wheel, it may have a sizable impact o driving ability. While this is true for any driver, it is particularly concerning when the drivers of large commercial trucks use marijuana. The sheer size and weight of semis make them a threat to other motorists, but when the people driving them are driving impaired, these vehicles become even more of a threat to public safety.
According to Transport Topics, the number of commercial truck drivers using marijuana has risen sharply in recent years, raising concerns about how this impacts everyone else on the roadway.
How common marijuana use is among truckers
In early January 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration began keeping a log of trucker drug and alcohol infractions. Dubbed the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, the database shows substance abuse trends among truck drivers and showed a 32% increase in the number of truckers testing positive for marijuana between 2021 and 2022. Within that span, almost 41,000 American truckers failed drug tests by testing positive for marijuana.
How marijuana affects driving ability
Research shows that a driver’s chances of winding up in a wreck increase after that driver uses marijuana. The use of the substance also has the potential to cause memory loss and coordination and balance issues. Studies also show that using marijuana slows a driver’s reaction time and impacts his or her ability to make educated decisions.
Fleet owners may be able to help reduce dangers by educating their drivers on the risks associated with using marijuana and driving, and by having clear policies in place when it comes to marijuana use.