Large commercial trucks are 20 to 30 times heavier than regular passenger cars, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The size and weight alone are enough to cause a catastrophe. Truck accidents often result in devastating injuries and deaths. Some truck crashes injure and kill multiple road users.
Trucking companies have an obligation to ensure that their vehicles are safe to drive and their drivers act responsibly. That includes drug testing truck drivers before allowing them to operate a big rig and performing drug tests throughout the course of their employment.
That’s why the Arkansas truck accident attorneys at McDaniel Law Firm, PLC fight to hold trucking companies and their drivers accountable when their negligence causes someone’s injury or death. We have helped countless injured motorists and their families throughout Arkansas get the justice they deserve for more than 40 years.
The positive results from drug testing truckers
Data from the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse shows that nearly 41,000 truck drivers tested positive for cannabis in 2022. That accounts for a 32% increase from the previous year. According to the data, cannabis was the most prevalent substance found in truck driver drug tests, followed by cocaine, methamphetamines, and amphetamines.
The FMCSA identified 14 substances in 177,376 positive tests. However, the four above-mentioned drugs accounted for 90% of positive tests from 2020 to 2022.
The rising number of positive cannabis results among truckers comes on the heels of recent concerns raised by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Earlier this year, the NTSB requested that state and federal agencies require a warning label on all cannabis products regarding the dangers of driving impaired.
A request to implement hair testing for truck drivers
In 2022, the Trucking Alliance petitioned the FMCSA to amend the definition of an employer’s “actual knowledge” of positive drug tests to include positive hair tests. Trucking companies are required to report positive drug tests to the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.
In the petition, the Trucking Alliance asserts that hair testing provides more accurate drug detection. Therefore, including hair tests would prevent more truckers from driving under the influence. However, the FMCSA recently denied the petition, reasserting that it doesn’t have the authority to recognize hair samples as an alternative testing method for truck drivers. Instead, the FMCSA plans to continue following the Department of Health and Human Services hair testing guidelines.
Hair testing involves collecting a hair sample from the root to examine it for illicit drug use. Hair tests have the potential to detect drug use as far back as three months but do not detect alcohol use.
Injured in a truck accident? Our attorneys can fight for you.
The truck accident attorneys at McDaniel Law Firm, PLC know the importance of drug testing truckers. When a trucking company’s failure to test its drivers results in a crash, we’re ready to hold them accountable. If you or a loved one was hurt in a truck crash, we’ll launch a thorough investigation into both the driver and the trucking company and find out where the negligence occurred. The evidence we typically gather includes:
- Drug testing records from the FMCSA clearing house.
- A detailed police report.
- The truck driver’s previous driving record (including any impaired driving arrests).
- Statements from witnesses.
- Videos, pictures, or other visual evidence.
We understand how truck accident investigations work and the great lengths trucking companies go to cover their tracks. We’ve seen how far the insurance companies will go to reduce their own costs at the expense of crash victims. We’ll go above and beyond to help you recover every dollar owed to you in medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and non-economic damages (pain, suffering, and disfigurement).
Contact our Jonesboro law office online today to schedule your free case evaluation. Worried that you can’t afford an attorney? No problem! We work on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t owe us any money unless we win your case.