By now, nearly everyone in America knows that the nation is struggling against a dangerous opioid crisis. Anyone you encounter might be using opioids, but to think that some truck drivers also use these powerful narcotics is even more frightening. Unfortunately, many truck drivers do use and perhaps abuse drugs, which means they might be impaired behind the wheel.
The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security (Trucking Alliance) announced recently that it wants Congress to strengthen drug-testing protocols in the trucking industry. A managing director with the Alliance pointed out that the current testing methods do not address the problem effectively.
Currently, the U.S. Department of Transportation requires truck drivers to pass a urine test to look for drugs in a driver’s system. However, it has been shown that a urinalysis is not as effective as a hair strand test. Many drugs, including opioids like codeine or morphine-based painkillers, will not show up in a urinalysis once a few hours have passed. A hair test, on the other hand, can reveal the presence of drugs up to 90 days after a driver uses the substance.
To strengthen the point, a managing director with the Trucking Alliance pointed out how one trucking company discovered 1,213 potential employees who tested positive for drug use on a pre-employment hair test. Disturbingly, 90 percent of these people had already tested negative for drug use on the government-mandated urine test.
When you look at how many truck accident injuries and deaths that have occurred in Illinois recently, it is easy to see why the Trucking Alliance is pushing for stronger drug testing laws. While victims of these accidents can work with a lawyer to seek compensation for their suffering and to hold the industry responsible, a better option is to improve trucking safety all around.
Source: TruckingInfo.com, “Trucking Alliance Pushes Congress to Tighten Truck Driver Drug Testing,” May 01, 2018