Over the past several years, the number of commercial truck accidents has continued to increase. There is serious concern about whether or not drug use among truck drivers is one of the causes of these increases. A recent survey conducted by the Trucking Alliance has revealed that this concern is valid – and frightening.
The organization compared the results of urine testing alone versus urine and hair testing. They discovered a profound difference in the results. When drug testing was done just using urinalysis, nine out of 10 illegal drug users were not identified. Using the combination testing methods of both urine and hair was substantially more accurate in identifying illegal drug users.
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Based on these results, the Trucking Alliance concluded that there are currently 300,000 commercial truck drivers on the nation’s roads whose drug usage has not been identified by the current urine-only drug testing process currently in place.
As of this writing, the US Department of Transportation Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse only accepts drug screening results conducted using urinalysis. Despite the change in federal law passed in 2015 that mandated additional hair testing, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has failed to issue any hair drug testing guidelines.
Therefore, when a trucking company checks with the Clearinghouse to see if a truck driver who has applied for a job has failed any previous drug test while working with another company will be unaware if that applicant has failed a hair test or refused a hair test. This means that if a truck driver refuses or fails a hair drug test, they can just go and apply at another company who only does urine testing and that company, with no way of knowing about the driver’s hair test issue – could hire the driver.
Keep in mind that urinalysis only detects drugs that have been consumed or used within the prior few hours or days of the test. A hair test can identify drug use up to three months after the drug was used.
Statistics show that the top three illegal drugs detected in truck driver applicant drug tests are cocaine, marijuana, and opioids. Statistics also reveal that if a person has used illegal drugs in the past, they will likely repeat the behavior, even occasional drug users. Truck drivers who have drugs in their systems put all of us at risk.
Contact a Virginia Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you or a family member has been injured in a truck accident, contact a seasoned Virginia truck accident attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have. Even if it is not entirely clear who is the at-fault party, a Va. injury attorney will be able to determine which party or parties are liable. At Shapiro & Appleton, our injury attorneys have represented numerous truck accident victims and have the legal expertise to handle these complex cases with positive results.