Drug use among commercial truck drivers is a widespread issue. Ohio residents should know that cocaine, opioids and marijuana are the three drugs that truckers test positive for the most. Since drugged driving is impaired driving, this trend may have been contributing to a rise in trucking accidents.
The U.S. Department of Transportation requires all truckers to undergo urine analyses. However, according to a study from the Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, urine analyses alone fail to identify 9 out of 10 drug users. This is where hair testing comes in. The DoT accepts hair testing as an optional add-on for the hiring process, and many trucking companies offer it as a result. Together, the two tests are more effective.
According to the Alliance study, there are approximately 301,000 truck drivers on the roads today who would fail the hair test. Many experts are calling for mandatory hair testing in the industry. The Department of Health and Human Services is composing hair testing guidelines, as required by the FAST Act, but little progress has been made since 2015.
With trucking companies unable to report hair test failures, habitual drug users may simply go and be hired by unsuspecting companies. The DoT, for its part, is willing to move forward with new guidelines.
When trucks are involved in motor vehicle accidents, those in the passenger vehicles can be left with serious injuries. Occupants of those vehicles may even die. Whether the accident forms the basis for a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death suit, those who seek compensation may want to speak with a lawyer. Third-party investigators may be able to prove that the trucker was impaired, using evidence like in-cab camera footage and drug test records. The lawyer may then strive for a settlement.