Truck accidents in California and across the U.S. have been on the rise in recent years. One of the reasons for this could be drug use, according to a new study.
Researchers from the Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, also known as the Trucking Alliance, conducted a survey of urine and hair samples from 151,662 truck driver applicants. Based on their findings, they estimated that approximately 301,000 truckers have slipped through the federal drug screening program and shouldn’t be on the road. According to the study, the reason for the discrepancy is that the U.S. Department of Transportation only recognizes urinalysis drug tests to screen truck drivers, but that method misses 90% of illegal drug users. Some truck companies also use hair analysis, which is more accurate, to screen drivers, but the DOT does not accept the results from these tests.
Cocaine is the most common drug discovered through hair tests, with opioids and marijuana coming in second and third, respectively. The problem is that, because the DOT does not recognize hair analysis results, truck driver applicants who refuse to undergo or fail the test simply apply with a company that only uses urinalysis testing, circumventing the system. To address the issue, the authors of the study are urging the federal government to recognize hair analysis testing as soon as possible.
If someone is injured in an accident caused by a drug-impaired truck driver, a Costa Mesa truck accident injury compensation law firm might be able to help. Legal professionals could investigate the case and collect evidence proving that the truck driver caused the victim’s injuries. As a result, the victim could be awarded compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.