Study: over 300,000 truckers in U.S. are habitual drug users

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Based on a statistically valid sample of 3.5 million truck drivers in Texas and across the U.S., the Alliance for Driver Safety & Security conducted a survey to determine how well the industry is rooting out drivers who are habitual drug users. It turns out that some 301,000 truckers are currently on the road who would either fail a hair analysis or refuse to undergo it.

Currently, a urine analysis is the only drug test that the U.S. Department of Transportation recognizes. As a result, but many in the trucking industry, being free to add other requirements to their hiring process, have made hair testing mandatory. Urine testing alone is not effective: The Alliance survey has found that 9 out of 10 drug users go undetected that way.

Yet employers have no way of reporting hair test failure, which means other employers with no hair test requirement will unknowingly hire drug users. Since the U.S. DoT does not recognize hair tests, the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will not accept hair test data.

The most widespread drug among truckers is cocaine, followed by opioids and marijuana. If the Department of Health and Human Services were to set up guidelines for hair analyses, as required by the FAST Act back in 2016, then drugged driving incidents could be reduced.

Drugged driving is, after all, a form of negligence. When it is behind a truck accident, victims on the other side may be able to file a personal injury claim against the trucking company. A successful claim could cover medical expenses, rehabilitative care from catastrophic injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. Victims may want a lawyer to speak on their behalf at the negotiation table and, if necessary, in the courtroom. Third parties might help in gathering evidence.

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