300,000 Commercial Truck Drivers Would Fail a Drug Test
The number of commercial truck accidents has climbed substantially over the past few years. Could drug use among commercial truck drivers have been a contributing factor? A recent survey of truck driver applicants by the Trucking Alliance suggests that the answer to that question is, “yes.”
The Trucking Alliance survey compared the results of urine testing alone versus a combination of urine plus hair testing, and they found a dramatic difference. Urinalysis alone failed to identify nine out of 10 illegal drug users. A combination of urine testing and hair testing was substantially more accurate in weeding out illegal drug users.
Based on these findings, the Trucking Alliance estimates that 300,000 commercial truck drivers on the roads today are illegal drug users whose drug usage was not revealed by the current urine-only drug-screening process.
Why Hair Testing Is Needed for Commercial Truck Drivers
Presently, the US Department of Transportation Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse only accepts urine test results. Federal legislation passed in 2015 mandated the addition of hair testing, but the Department of Health and Human Services has yet to issue hair test guidelines.
As a result, trucking companies who check the Clearinghouse to see if a driver-applicant has failed a previous drug test at another company will not be able to see that an applicant has failed or refused a hair test. Someone who fails or refuses a hair test at one trucking company can just go to another company that only does urine screening and potentially get hired.
A urine test will only detect drugs consumed within the past few hours or days, depending on the drug. A hair test, on the other hand, can detect drug use up to 90 days later.
The top three drugs detected among applicants for trucking jobs were cocaine, opioids, and marijuana (cannabis).
The danger, of course, is that someone who has used illegal drugs in the past is likely to repeat that behavior. Failure to screen out even occasional drug users from commercial trucking jobs puts everyone on the highways in danger of being injured by a drugged driver.
Contact a Joliet Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one was struck by a commercial truck and seriously injured, before accepting any insurance settlement, consult a knowledgeable Will County truck accident lawyer. For a free consultation with an attorney at Schwartz Injury Law, call 815-723-7300 for our Joliet office or 708-226-9000 for our Orland Park office.