Drugged Drivers: Hazardous Drugs, Medications, and Conditions That Put Drivers at Risk

As a truck driver, your job is governed by a wide range of rules. Many of these rules are designed to keep yourself and others on the road safe. It should be understood truckers and drugs just don’t mix, yet many truckers use drugs both knowingly and unknowingly that are hazardous. Here we look at the hazardous medications that put you at risk for accidents.

druges and drivers

Driving Under the Influence

As with any driver, truckers can’t drive under the influence of any form of illicit drugs such as:

  • Heroin
  • LSD
  • Mescaline
  • MDMA or “ecstasy”
  • Psilocybin mushroom
  • Methaqualone or “Quaalude”
  • Cathinone/khat
  • 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV)

Although marijuana might be legal in some states, it is still illegal under federal law. As well, you can’t drive under the influence of alcohol or marijuana even if it is legal. However, what you might not realize is that you are also not allowed to drive after taking many medications, especially if you don’t hold a valid prescription. This can include medications such as Adderall which truckers might take to try to stay alert.

Prohibited Truckers Medications

It can be harder to understand legal medications and prescriptions when it comes to driving. However, there are certain medications that can actually interfere with your ability to qualify for your license. According to federal laws, medications are listed under “Schedules,” which indicate whether they can be taken while driving. The ones that interfere with a driver’s ability to drive safely are listed under Schedule I. These drugs also tend to be highly addictive and include amphetamines, narcotics, and habit-forming drugs. Some of the most common drugs truckers should avoid include:

  • ADD medication
  • Painkillers including anti-inflammatories
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Anti-seizure medication if you are prone to seizures

Any powerful meds that affect your reaction time, should be avoided. Other medications might include certain medications for the treatment of vertigo which can have a sedative effect. Also, medical marijuana prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner is not permitted

Reason for Medications

Prohibited medications can also be based on the reason you take the medication. For example, some anti-seizure medications are also taken to treat depression. In these cases, that medication might be acceptable, but if taken to prevent seizures, it disqualifies you as a driver. Keep in mind, if you have a doctor that says you require the medication, it could provide a loophole. However, your responsibility as a truck driver should always put safety first.

DOT Disqualifying Medical Conditions

Under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations drivers cannot be certified if they have certain medical conditions, not just if they are using a medication/substance that can interfere with safe driving. These conditions include:

  • Certain heart conditions
  • EpilepsyConditions that can cause loss of consciousness
  • Inner ear diseases
  • Disorders that cause vertigo
  • Diabetes
  • Vision and/or hearing loss

This is a general list of DOT disqualifying medical conditions. Other less common conditions might be included at the discretion of the doctor.

Understanding the laws surrounding hazardous medications as well as the risks posed by certain medications will help keep you safe on the road.


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