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Regular & Effective Drug Testing for Truckers is Key to Preventing Truck Accidents

Tractor-trailer drives fast through the night, as streaks of color come off of it to show it is speeding.

Impaired truckers cause too many severe and fatal semi-truck wrecks.

Drug testing truckers is crucial in preventing truck accidents as it ensures that the individuals operating these large vehicles are not under the influence of drugs or other substances that can impair their ability to drive safely.

Truckers often drive for long hours, making it essential to be alert and focused. Impairment caused by drugs can cause delayed reactions, decreased coordination, and impaired judgment, leading to increased risks of tractor-trailer accidents on the road.

Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveals that there were over 4,000 fatal truck crashes across the U.S. in one recent year. These startling statistics highlight the need for truckers to avoid dangerous behaviors such as driving under the influence. As such, drug testing has emerged as a vital safety measure for the trucking industry.

Drug testing is a requirement for truckers.

The FMCSA strictly prohibits the use of drugs and alcohol by commercial truckers. The organization sets a legal limit of 0.04% for a truck driver's blood alcohol content, which is half that for other drivers, and bans alcohol consumption within 4 hours of driving. To enforce these regulations, the FMCSA requires mandatory drug and alcohol testing for all truck drivers, including random testing, pre-employment testing, and post-accident testing.

Refusal to take a drug test can result in disqualification from driving a commercial vehicle, while trucking companies that fail to conduct drug and alcohol tests on new hires may face fines and liability.

To enhance safety, the Trucking Alliance, an industry group, recently requested that the FMCSA recognize hair sample drug tests as an alternative to urine tests for truck drivers. The Alliance argues that hair testing improves public safety by accurately detecting drug use and removing drug users from the operation of commercial motor vehicles.

However, the FMCSA declined this petition based on a lack of statutory authority.

Is substance use common among truckers?

According to the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, every year, there are thousands of positive drug tests among commercial truck drivers, with substances such as amphetamines, methamphetamine, cocaine, oxymorphone, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone being among the most commonly detected.

Marijuana, which is legal for recreational use in some states, is the most frequently detected substance. It is important to note, however, that operating a commercial vehicle under the influence of any controlled substance, including marijuana, is illegal, regardless of the legality of the substance in a particular state.

A recent report highlights the extent of this issue, revealing that over 40,000 commercially licensed truck drivers failed a federally mandated drug screening for marijuana in 2022 and did not reapply for their jobs. These statistics underscore the need for ongoing efforts to combat impaired driving among truckers.

Learn how an Alabama truck accident lawyer can help you.

Trucking accidents often result in severe injuries and can have a lasting impact on those involved. The complexity of these cases requires a specialized approach and experienced representation. This is because trucking companies have teams of experts, known as accident response teams, who are dispatched to the scene of an accident within an hour. These teams work to shift the blame onto the victim and protect the trucking company's interests.

To ensure a fair outcome, it is crucial to have an attorney with experience in trucking cases by your side. Such cases can be complicated and require the involvement of various experts to collect and analyze data, including information from the truck's onboard systems. Without proper representation, it can be challenging to navigate the complexities of a trucking case and to protect your rights.

At Dean Waite & Associates, LLC, we understand the importance of having a strong advocate in these types of cases. We have the knowledge and experience to handle every aspect of your claim or lawsuit and fight for the results you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help protect your rights and secure the compensation you're entitled to under the law. Our office is located in Mobile, AL.

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