You may have heard the statistics about accidents caused by drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but what you might be surprised to know is that some of the safest drivers on the road are the ones in the cabs of their 18-wheelers.
Weekends are slower times at the truck stop in Jane Lew, but truckers still come in and out all day, and most never make a splash. General Manager Ray Smith said they're fortunate to rarely have a problem with any kind of drug use.
"Basically very minor, some people drink a little too much and we notice it and we would talk to them, and make sure they didn't leave or call the police if they determined to leave, but very very rare on that aspect, most of the people here are professionals," said Smith.
For truckers, staying professional and clean can be the difference between work and unemployment. Truckers have to adhere to tighter constraints to get and keep their CDL license, and the West Virginia Public Service Commission said the businesses they work for play a big role in keeping them clean and safe.
"It's a situation where the companies really police themselves. The federal law requires trucking companies to randomly test fifty percent of their drivers each year," said Susan Small of WVPSC.
The drivers themselves also have a stake in staying clear now more than ever. In the current economy, keeping that job is more important to many than it has been before.
"There are many more applicants for truck driving jobs in this economy than there are jobs to be had, and the smart truck drivers are not going to be screwing up by taking drugs or alcohol before they get in the cab of their eighteen-wheeler," Small said.
In the past, drivers would track their own activity by keeping a logbook, but now gadgets are doing much of the work, and helping track those drivers.
"I do know that one thing that's been the big change in the past twenty years is technology. Before the proof of burden for almost anything was on the driver logbook, and now most trucks have GPS and that stuff and tracks it so they can get by with very little anymore," Smith said.
Smith said he hopes to never see a serious incident here in Jane Lew, and according to the PSC there's a lot in the way to keep that from happening.