New Survey Shows Truck Driver Drug Use is a Serious Concern

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A group known as the Trucking Alliance comprising representatives from trucking and logistics companies has released the results of a first-of-its-kind study showing compelling and disturbing evidence of thousands of truck drivers are habitual drug users who have managed to skirt a system designed to prohibit drug use in transportation. According to news reports, the Trucking Alliance said in a testimony to Congress that the use of illegal drugs by truck drivers is the most urgent problem for the industry.

During a Congressional hearing on June 12, the Trucking Alliance presented the results of a study comparing urinalysis testing and hair-testing results for pre-employment testing of truck drivers. Federal law requires alcohol and drug testing for commercial drivers including truck drivers. The U.S. Department of Transportation currently recognizes one test method – urinalysis.

Thousands of Illicit Drug Users

But, it allows employers to allow additional drug-test methods such as the hair test as part of the employer’s hiring practices. A number of trucking companies do a second test, a hair analysis, as part of their pre-employment truck driver hiring policies. The survey results showed that thousands of truck drivers failed one or both drug tests. The survey also found that urine analysis, which most employers rely on, failed to identify most drug users. Urinalysis, in fact, missed 9 out of ten illicit drug users. The most prevalent drug among the drivers was cocaine followed by opioids and marijuana.

Applicants who failed or refused the hair test were disqualified for employment at these companies, but likely got jobs at companies that required only a urine analysis, the survey stated. The survey states that about 301,000 truck drivers would fail or refuse a hair test. The organization recommended that these illegal drug users be identified and taken off our roadways. The Alliance also urged the Health and Human Services Department to complete its hair test guidelines that are currently being developed so DOT can recognize this testing method for truck driver employment.

Dangers of Drugged Drivers

Different types of drugs can have different effects on drivers. For example, drivers who have used cocaine or methamphetamine can be reckless or aggressive. Some types of medications such as opioids can cause drowsiness, dizziness or impair one’s judgment. All of these effects can lead to major traffic accidents. And we all know that a large truck has the potential to cause significant injuries and damages.

If you or a loved one has been injured by an impaired truck driver, you may have a case against the driver and his or her employer for negligent hiring. An experienced truck accident attorney can help you pursue your legal rights and hold the at-fault parties accountable.

Brian Chase is managing partner and senior trial attorney at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys.

Source: https://www.truckinginfo.com/333760/trucking-alliance-truck-driver-drug-use-top-safety-issue

Author: Brian Chase

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